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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Michelle Stennett

Otter tamps down expectations for election-year legislative session

Here’s a link to my full story at on how Gov. Butch Otter today continued to tamp down expectations for the election-year legislative session that will convene on Jan. 6, just months before Idaho’s May 20 primary election. Addressing the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho, Otter promised “more of the same” from him, with a lean, cautious approach to new spending or programs, despite the state’s recovering economy. The governor’s already drawn a primary challenge from Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, and a Democratic challenger, A.J. Balukoff; every seat in the Legislature also will be on the ballot.

Idaho Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said she expected caution from the governor in an election year, but was “disappointed” by what she heard. “It’s our job to do good policy for the people we represent,” she said. “I hope we actually get something accomplished.”


Stennett chosen Senate minority leader

The first legislative leadership caucus election results are in, from the smallest of the four caucuses meeting tonight, the Senate Democrats. They elected Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, as their new minority leader, replacing Sen. Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, who retired from the Senate. Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, was elected assistant minority leader, a position formerly held by Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise; and new Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, who moved over from the House, was elected caucus chair, the position Stennett formerly held.

Stennett is in her second term; she was appointed to the Senate in 2010 and first won election in 2011 to the seat formerly held by her husband, the late Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum.

The party's two spots on JFAC, the powerful Joint Finance-Appropriations Commitee, went to second-term Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, and new Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, who moved over from the House this year after serving one term there.

Werk said, “In our caucus, we sit down, as we're doing right now, we talk things over, we figure out where people are best slotted. It's a super-collaborative process. We're small enough that we talk it over, and there are no hard feelings.”

Otter appoints Michelle Stennett to Senate

Gov. Butch Otter has appointed Michelle Stennett to the Idaho Senate seat vacated by her husband Clint’s recent death; Stennett had been filling in for her husband as he battled brain cancer, and is now running for the seat in her own right. Otter said he was making the appointment for the remainder of Clint Stennett’s term “with sadness at her husband’s loss but great confidence in her abilities;” you can click below to read his full announcement. Michelle Stennett was the unanimous top choice of the Idaho Democratic Party’s District 25 legislative committee to succeed her husband in the post.

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About this blog

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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