Gov. Butch Otter has named the replacement for Sen. Gerry Sweet, R-Meridian, who resigned to work for new Congressman Bill Sali: It’s longtime state Rep. Shirley McKague, R-Meridian. McKague, a conservative, has served quietly in the House for the past decade. She’s a Nampa High School graduate, retired legal secretary and former service station owner. Otter said, “Representative McKague has been a stalwart, reliable and hard-working member of the House. Senator McKague will bring those same qualities to representing her constituents in the Idaho Senate. She is a public servant in the best tradition of a citizen legislator, and I’m proud to make this appointment.”
The appointment now kicks off a new round of reshuffling, as the new senator lacks the seniority to nab former Sen. Sweet’s committee assignments, including a JFAC seat. Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes said he anticipates various shuffling around among committee positions as a result, which will happen on Monday, the first day the Legislature convenes.
The appointment also means Otter will need to choose a replacement for McKague in the House, based on nominations from a party committee from her district. That will all happen within the next 30 days.