This district encompasses Shoshone County, traditionally among the few Democratic counties in the state and the bastion of the old-time “lunchbucket” Democrats. But in recent years this district has swung more to the GOP. Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, the last remaining Democrat representing the district, is seeking a seventh term.
She’s unlike any other Democrat in the Idaho House – often, she’s the only Democrat who votes with the Republicans in split votes. “I felt from the very beginning that I’m there to vote for my district. It doesn’t matter how I feel, it’s how they feel about a subject, and that’s why I vote the way I do,” Shepherd said.
She’s being challenged this year by Shannon McMillan, a former tax preparer who works as an assistant in her son’s law office in Wallace and is the secretary of the Silver Valley Republican Women.
• Mary Lou Shepherd , 77
Bio: First appointed to the Idaho House in 1999 to replace Larry Watson; re-elected five times since then; retired restaurant/tavern owner; attended community college. Married, seven children, 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.
Campaign promises: “I will work hard for our mining industry and our forest industry. They’re both so important to Shoshone County as well as the other counties, and we need to get them started again, particularly the mining industry.”
Notable: Shepherd is known for voting as her constituents tell her through their calls, letters and e-mails.
• Shannon McMillan , 49
Bio: Works as assistant in law office of son James McMillan; worked as a tax preparer from 1997 to 2004; attended community college; former secretary of Shoshone County Republican Central Committee. Married, one son.
Campaign promises: “My top priorities are promoting and re-invigorating natural resource-based industries, and addressing concerns and issues which relate to my district specifically, and North Idaho generally.”
Notable: McMillan is active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, which does medieval re-enactments.