GOP activist and former Senate Majority Leader Rod Beck, R-Boise, tops the list of three nominees to replace former Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, reports Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey. Beck, who served in the Senate in the ‘80s and ‘90s, has clashed with Gov. Butch Otter – who will make the appointment – over such notable issues as Beck’s push for a closed GOP primary election and his leading of the successful effort in 2008 to oust Kirk Sullivan, Otter’s choice for Idaho Republican Party chairman. “I’ve had some political differences with the governor over the years, but never a personal issue,” Beck told Popkey today.
The other two nominees for Patterson’s seat, submitted to the governor by the District 15 Republican Party committee, are Patrick McDonald, U.S. marshal for Idaho under President George W. Bush and a 33-year veteran officer of the Idaho State Police; and Sam Hoagland, a Boise lawyer since 1982 who also is trained as a pharmacist. McDonald had been campaigning against Patterson and planned to challenge him in the May GOP primary, before Patterson resigned after news surfaced that he had failed to disclose his guilty plea in a 1974 rape case. Popkey's full reports are online here and here.