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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Wayne Hammon

Otter’s budget chief departs to head Associated General Contractors

Wayne Hammon, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief for the past five and a half years, is resigning Sept. 28 to become executive director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors. Hammon, who heads Otter's Division of Financial Management, wrote in his resignation letter, “After serving as DFM administrator longer than any of my predecessors, it is now time for me to move on.”

The previous AGC executive director, Mark Dunham, resigned in June after suffering a stroke in January; he had held the position since 2007. The group has more than 600 members, and in 2011 Dunham described it as the state's “premier construction lobby” and “the premier voice for Idaho’s construction industry at every level of government.”

Hammon's been a lobbyist before; he served as director of government relations for the National Association of Wheat Growers from 1999 to 2001 after working as a congressional aide to U.S. Sens. Larry Craig and Orrin Hatch. Hammon also headed the USDA Farm Service Agency in Idaho for seven years before joining the Otter Administration. When he left the Wheat Growers, the group's president, Dusty Tallman, said Hammon “made our organization a potent lobbying force.” Hammon is the latest in a line of top Otter Administration officials who've left for positions lobbying state government, including two former chiefs of staff.

Hammon, 41, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in public policy from BYU, said, “I count Butch Otter as a friend, and I'm honored that he trusted me with this job, and I'm happy to have been of service as long as I have. It really is an honor.” He said the opening at AGC was a “great opportunity” for him. “We're right at the beginning of a tremendous boom in the economy - I think the recovery is happening,” Hammon said. “So that industry's got a very bright future, and I'm excited to be part of that.” Late this afternoon, Otter issued a news release about Hammon's departure; click below to read it.

Sen. Stegner a finalist for UI’s top lobbyist job

The Lewiston Tribune reports today that Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, is among three finalists to replace the retiring Marty Peterson, longtime University of Idaho special assistant to the president for government relations and top lobbyist for the university in Boise. Stegner, a seven-term senator, current chairman of the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee and former assistant majority leader, will join the other two finalists - Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief, and Idaho Grain Producers Executive Director Travis Jones - next week on the UI campus for interviews and open forums with the UI community.

Tribune reporter Joel Mills reports that there were about 100 applicants for the position; both Stegner and Jones are UI alumni. UI Vice President for Advancement Chris Murray told the Trib, “The interest was very, very high,” and praised all three finalists. “First and foremost, they're very solid people,” he said. “Each of them has great skills relative to working in the state Legislature. That's an important part of our budget, and it's an important part of our success. In order to serve the state, we need to have the proper state funding.”

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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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