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Eye On Boise

Chambers won’t run for Henderson’s seat after all - his home is just over the district line

The candidate Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, endorsed to succeed him in office next year has just discovered that his home is 180 feet outside of the legislative district in question – so he’s not running. “I’m disappointed, I’m embarrassed, I’m devastated by this,” said John Chambers, a semi-retired executive with Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls.

He actually owns a home in Post Falls right near Henderson’s, but four years ago moved into his current place, which is just over the line into District 2. “Where he lives is 180 feet in the wrong direction,” Henderson said. “If he lived on the other side of the road, he’d be in my district. He doesn’t, so he’s in District 2.”

Henderson said when he first talked with Chambers about running, he asked him who he voted for in the last election, and Chambers said he remembered voting for Bob Nonini, who’s in the same district as Henderson. But now both Chambers and Henderson say that might have been four years ago rather than two years ago – before district lines changed.

“That’s how the mistake got made,” Henderson said. “But as soon as we discovered it was a mistake, then we backed everything up.” He said, “John would have been an excellent legislator, because he had the industrial job-producing background that I was looking for in a candidate, someone that knew how to create jobs, how to help make a company be successful and help the local economy grow, and John had that specific experience. So anyway, we’ll start over.”

Henderson, 91, is a five-term lawmaker and chairman of the House Business Committee; he’s also a former Post Falls mayor and Kootenai County commissioner. “There’s a number of really good people in Post Falls, and you have to find out who’s available, who’s interested, and that’s what I’m starting to do,” he said.

Chambers, who had filed initial forms with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office and brought on a campaign manager and treasurer, said, “I haven’t taken any money or anything. … We did put on the brakes.” State law requires residence in the district for at least one year for a House seat. Asked if he’d consider involvement in Idaho politics in the future, a disappointed Chambers said, “I’d love to, but not right now.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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