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Eye On Boise

New Idaho lawmakers start orientation at Capitol

New Rep. Priscilla Giddings, center, talks with other new Idaho lawmakers during a break in orientation sessions at the state Capitol on Monday. (Betsy Z. Russell)
New Rep. Priscilla Giddings, center, talks with other new Idaho lawmakers during a break in orientation sessions at the state Capitol on Monday. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Idaho’s 18 newest legislators are at the Capitol today for orientation, four of them new senators and 14 of them new representatives. Among the 18, just two have served in the Legislature before, new Sen. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, as a representative; and Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, in the same seat she’s now won back.

All four new senators are men: Sens. Jeff Agenbroad, R-Nampa, who replaced Sen. Curt McKenzie; Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, who defeated Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll in the GOP primary; Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Moscow, who defeated Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow; and Nye, who won the seat formerly held by Sen. Roy Lacey, who retired.

The 14 new House members include six men and eight women. They are: Reps. Paul Amador, R-Coeur d’Alene, who defeated Rep. Kathy Sims in the GOP primary; Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom, who replaces retired Rep. Ken Andrus; Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, who defeated Rep. Pete Nielsen in the GOP primary; Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, who won the seat formerly held by her husband Reed DeMordaunt; Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, who defeated Rep. Shannon McMillan in the GOP primary; Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony, who defeated Rep. Paul Romrell in the GOP primary; Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston, who defeated House Minority Leader John Rusche; Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, who won Nye’s former seat; Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, who defeated Rep. Merrill Beyeler in the primary; Stevenson; Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, who won the seat formerly held by Rep. Gayle Batt, who retired; Sally Toone, D-Gooding, who won the seat formerly held by retired Rep. Donna Pence; Christy Zito, R-Hammett, who defeated Rep. Rich Wills in the primary; and Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, who won the seat formerly held by retiring Rep. Linden Bateman.

Among the 18, there are three lawyers (Nye, Manwaring and Zollinger), one banker (Agenbroad), one retired Air Force colonel (Foreman), and one A-10 fighter pilot (Giddings). Nearly all the new legislators are college graduates.

Over the next three days, they’ll be briefed on everything from staff resources and laptop computers to legislative processes, budgeting, the state’s tax structure and educational system and more. On Wednesday, they’ll attend a “law school for legislators” that will cover conflicts of interest and the public trust, campaign finances, sunshine laws and lobbying, and public records.

The organizational session of the 2017 Idaho Legislature starts on Thursday.




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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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