When the Idaho Legislature convenes on Monday, it’ll have two unaccustomed faces in its midst: Two North Idaho legislators have designated substitutes to fill in for them for the first week or two of the session due to health concerns. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, has designated his wife, Cathyanne Nonini, to substitute for him through Jan. 15; and Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, has designated North Idaho businessman John Chambers, a semi-retired executive at Ground Force Manufacturing, to fill in for him for up to two weeks.
Nonini has been recuperating from a serious infection. “He’s planning on coming back around the 15th,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill.
Henderson broke his hip during a recent vacation mishap in Hawaii and hoped to be recovered enough to make the session’s first day, but decided he needed a little more time. “It turns out I recovered so fast, one week would’ve been plenty,” he said Thursday. “Right now, I’m doing great.”
Henderson, 91, is a fifth-term state representative, and is also a former Kootenai County commissioner and mayor of Post Falls. Nonini, 59, is a first-term senator who previously served four terms in the House, including a stint as House Education Committee chairman.