Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, has announced that he'll retire after this year, after serving 14 years in the state House of Representatives. Clark, who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he feels he's accomplished his goals.
Seven years ago, in 2003, Clark hinted he wouldn't seek re-election and would retire then, after he successfully, after a five-year fight, pushed through a law to allow port and sherry to be sold in Idaho grocery stores rather than just at state liquor stores. When word spread that if Clark could get the bill enacted, he wouldn't run for re-election, some lawmakers who differed with Clark on other issues joked that the promise got them to vote for the bill. "To be honest, I've accomplished just about everything that I wanted to accomplish,'' Clark said after then-Gov. Dirk Kempthorne signed the bill into law. But, he said, "Lots of things can happen in a year.'' That year, he decided to run for re-election after all, rather than retire. This time, though, Clark said he really does plan to retire. He's having an active session, and already has introduced several bills, including one that attempts to ban enforcement of national health care reform in Idaho.