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Posts tagged: Frank Henderson

Rep. Henderson joins former Sens. Hammond, Compton to form new ‘Job Creators PAC’

Idaho Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, has joined with two retired senators from his district to form a new PAC that will interview legislative candidates and endorse and support those with the most skill at economic development. Henderson is joining former GOP Sens. Jim Hammond and Dick Compton in the new political action committee, which they’ve dubbed “Job Creators PAC.” The three are filling its coffers with their leftover campaign funds; Henderson, 91, is retiring after his current term in the House.

“Government does not create jobs, we enable jobs,” said Henderson. “We’ve been there, we’ve done that, and we think we’ll be able to make a good assessment of the potential effectiveness of candidates.” In addition to the three former lawmakers, a dozen other District 3 residents have signed on to help with the effort. Henderson had more than $16,000 left in his campaign fund as of the last reporting period.

Rep. Henderson to retire after current term, endorses Chambers for his seat

Five-term Idaho Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, who is 91, announced today that he won’t seek a sixth term in the upcoming elections, and instead will endorse North Idaho businessman John Chambers, 59, a semi-retired executive at Ground Force Manufacturing, to succeed him in office. Chambers filled in as a substitute for Henderson for the first few weeks of this year’s legislative session after Henderson broke his hip during a vacation mishap in Hawaii.

Henderson is a former Kootenai County commissioner and mayor of Post Falls who’s had a long career in public service; he's also a retired marketing executive and newspaper publisher and a World War II Army veteran. Henderson’s wife, Betty Ann, serves on the Post Falls City Council.

In 2012, Henderson was named chairman of the House Business Committee a day after he celebrated in his 90th birthday; a year earlier, he’d given up his coveted seat on the joint budget committee after five years to focus his legislative work more on economic development. He sponsored key legislation that year to help Idaho aircraft parts businesses that has now led to major expansions in employment by some of those firms in the state.

After celebrating his 90th birthday during the Legislature’s December 2012 organizational session, Henderson said, “My parents said they gave me some durable genes, and that’s what it takes.” He is Idaho's oldest state lawmaker.

Sen. Nonini, Rep. Henderson name subs for session’s opening days

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.

Henderson breaks hip on Hawaii vacation, but expects to start legislative session on time

Idaho Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, broke a hip while vacationing in Hawaii this week, but he says he’ll be up and going in time for the start of the legislative session on Jan. 6. “Oh, absolutely – I won’t miss it,” Henderson said from the hospital on the island of Kauai, where he’s awaiting surgery. “What I’ve got is a minor fracture of my right hip. … The surgeon this morning said about five days after the surgery, you’ll be able to walk.”

Henderson, who celebrated his 91st birthday last Friday, said, “I was in a condo I wasn’t familiar with, walking around in the middle of the night. I tripped on a chair leg and fell.” He added, “I should’ve turned the lights on.”

Henderson and his wife, Betty Ann, were vacationing on Kauai for a week and had planned to return Sunday, but now they’ve extended their stay until the middle of next week. “We’re here with friends, and they’ve got a car,” Henderson said. “This is a great place, really picturesque.” So far during the vacation, he said, the friends have enjoyed a cruise halfway around the island on which they saw whales and dolphins, and visits to several state parks; he said he’s particularly appreciated the tropical flowers and jungle greenery. “Yesterday it was 82 degrees,” he said.

Henderson is a fifth-term state representative, and is also a former Kootenai County commissioner and mayor of Post Falls.


Rep. Henderson going strong, excited to lead as new committee chair

Idaho state Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, who was appointed chairman of the House Business Committee a day after he celebrated his 90th birthday, is excited about his new role. “The composition of the whole committee includes a number of experienced legislators, so I think if I can give it effective leadership, that it’s going to be a very productive committee,” Henderson said. He said he’ll be bringing proposals to help boost existing Idaho companies, including possible new investment tax credits. “We’ll be looking for new ideas,” Henderson said. You can read my full Sunday column here.

When the House, near the close of its organizational session last week, took note of Henderson's birthday and offered to sing “Happy Birthday” to him, he wasn't there. That's because he was over at the state Department of Commerce, meeting on economic development initiatives.

Becoming a committee chair “was not a burning ambition with me,” Henderson said, but he said he wasn't surprised by the appointment; he was in line for the post, as the vice-chair of the panel. “I'm pleased to be there,” he said. “It's going to satisfy a legislative ambition,” he said, “to help the Idaho economy grow and diversify, from when we were just agriculture, timber and mining.”

Lawmaker marks 90th birthday; says parents gave him ‘some durable genes’

Idaho's oldest lawmaker turned 90 today; Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, is spending his birthday participating in the Legislature's organizational session and working on economic development issues. “It's spectacular,” Henderson said. “Sixth of December, 1922. My parents said they gave me some durable genes, and that's what it takes.”

Asked if there's anything else he'd rather spend his 90th birthday doing, Henderson said he does like to travel. But, he said, “This is an important part of my life.” Henderson said he'll travel later. StateImpact Idaho has an radio interview with Henderson on NPR today; you can listen here.

Legislature’s ‘Energizer bunny’ pushes economic development

Rep. Frank Henderson meant it a year ago when he decided to give up his coveted seat on the Legislature's budget committee to focus more on economic development. The Post Falls Republican sponsored legislation that passed the House unanimously yesterday that he says will directly create dozens of jobs statewide; and he's  partnered with two other lawmakers from his Post Falls-area district to develop a snazzy 10-page full-color magazine, funded out of their own pockets, that they've mailed off to 300 targeted out-of-state businesses, trying to interest the firms in moving to North Idaho.

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, calls Henderson “the Energizer bunny,” and said he's not surprised that some guess Henderson's in his 60s. “He's got the energy of a 60-year-old, that's for sure,” Nonini said. Henderson actually is Idaho's oldest lawmaker at 89; he'll turn 90 in December. You can read my full story here at

Henderson to leave JFAC to focus on economic development legislation

Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, has decided to give up his coveted seat on the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee after five years to focus on economic development legislation in the coming session. “My background is economic development, it is business management,” said Henderson, a fourth-term lawmaker. In JFAC this year, with revenue so short, Henderson said, the task will be “to do more of what we did in the last two years - keep crunching it smaller and smaller. We so badly need new revenue. I want to find ways to help our existing industries - help them expand into the domestic markets, help them expand into new markets, so they can retain their present workforce and hopefully expand it, so we can get more money into the local economies.”

Henderson isn’t thinking tax incentives. “I can’t think of any tax incentives that are needed,” he said. “But I think there are ways the resources of the Commerce Department can be used more intensely.” He offered an example: A firm moved to Post Falls that manufactures a special type of ultraviolet light that’s used in industry to dry paint very quickly, in order to speed production processes. He stopped in to ask them about the market for their product. The answer: “They have a huge market in the Far East, but they don’t have a good way to access it.” Henderson put the firm in touch with the international division at the state Commerce Department. “And within five weeks, they were shipping product to Taiwan,” he said. If Commerce were out contacting Idaho businesses, it could get those same results across the state, Henderson said. “I just think they can be more aggressive.”

Henderson said he’d like to stay on the House Business Committee, and would like to move from the local government committee to the transportation committee, since he’s handled the transportation budget on JFAC for the past five years. He’d also like to be on the House State Affairs Committee. But, he said, “I don’t care where they put me - I’m still going to do economic development.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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