BOISE – Idaho Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d’Alene, will miss the first three weeks of the legislative session for cancer surgery, and her daughter will fill in for her.
“The first three weeks are the rules, which I can follow somewhat on the computer,” Chadderdon said Tuesday, referring to the extensive reviews of administrative rules that legislative committees conduct in the early weeks of the session.
Chadderdon will go in for surgery at Kootenai Medical Center on Friday and hopes to head to Boise and resume her legislative duties a few weeks later even if she has to undergo chemotherapy; she’s already discussed possible arrangements with her doctor.
“We’ll kind of play it by ear,” she said. “It could be four to five months of chemo. It might not bother me. Some people, they don’t get sick or anything.” The fourth-term lawmaker, who won re-election in November, said her daughter was a natural choice for a substitute. Julie Chadderdon served six years as the Region 1 chair for the Idaho Republican Party and has served on the party’s state central committee.
“She’s been around a lot of the legislators from here, so I’m sure she’ll do fine,” Marge Chadderdon said. “She knows a lot of people.”
Chadderdon, 74, said her cancer was detected just a few weeks ago in a routine screening. “The doctor was pretty upbeat,” she said.
She is the second Idaho lawmaker this year to name a substitute for the start of the session due to cancer treatment; Rep. Pat Takasugi, R-Wilder, has named Gayle Batt as his stand-in while he undergoes treatment.
Idaho’s legislative rules allow a substitute to be appointed when a lawmaker is ill or unable to attend, to avoid leaving that lawmaker’s district without a vote; it’s a system few states share.
“I think our system works well,” said House Speaker Lawerence Denney. “You can see the possibility for abuse, that everybody wants to sit in for a week, but that really hasn’t happened.”