State Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, is the only North Idaho resident who made the annual list of the 25 most influential people in Idaho put together by political historian Randy Stapilus and his Ridenbaugh Press. This year’s list focuses on “agents of change” in 2005 – people who played central roles in change that made a difference in the state, for bad or good.
The list is heavy on top elected officials – Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is listed at No. 1 – along with some CEO’s, major developers, a few activists (Frank Vandersloot of eastern Idaho, No. 15, and conservative Rev. Bryan Fischer of the Boise area, No. 17), two university presidents (Bob Kustra of Boise State at No. 8, Richard Bowen of ISU, No. 20), one reporter (Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey, No. 22), and one Democratic leader (Richard Stallings, No. 23). There’s also one criminal – the notorious accused murderer and child molester Joseph Duncan (No. 6), whose crimes are prompting changes in criminal laws in both Idaho and Washington.
Keough, listed at No. 24, is one of only three state legislators to appear on the list, which cited her leadership on property tax reform. The other two legislators are House Speaker Bruce Newcomb (No. 5) and House Tax Chairwoman Dolores Crow (No. 19). See the complete list at ridenbaugh.com.