Jones retires, Woolf named Idaho state controller
BOISE - A 40-year-old who started in the office 15 years ago as an intern was named Idaho’s 21st state controller Monday.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter named acting state Controller Brandon Woolf permanently to the position, with the news that twice-elected state Controller Donna Jones is retiring to focus on recovering from injuries sustained in a May 25 car accident.
Woolf, who was raised on a dairy farm near Preston - the town depicted in the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” - holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University and an MBA from Boise State University. “Brandon is an Idaho kid,” Otter said, calling his career in the controller’s office “a great success story in and of itself.”
Woolf had been a training specialist in the payroll division, a bureau chief, division administrator, and chief of staff before being named acting controller in July during Jones’ absence. His appointment is subject to approval by the Idaho Senate.
Woolf said Jones recently learned that her recovery from her injuries likely will take up to two years. “Donna is not a quitter, but she wanted to do what was best for the citizens,” Woolf said. Woolf said he plans to run for the position in 2014 when the current term ends; like Jones, he said he’ll run as a Republican.
Idaho’s state controller is the state’s chief fiscal officer; manages the state’s payroll and financial management and reporting and accounting systems; and is a full voting member of the state Land Board, which oversees management of the state’s endowment land that is held for the benefit of trust beneficiaries including Idaho’s public schools.
It is one of seven elected executive officers specified in the Idaho Constitution; the others are governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction.
After administering the oath of office to Woolf as the new state controller, Otter lined up all the state’s constitutional officers for a photo. As they posed, he joked that the menagerie now includes an Otter, a Woolf and a Crane (state Treasurer Ron Crane).
Jones was elected state controller in 2006 and re-elected in 2010; she was the first woman elected to the position. She previously served 12 years in the Idaho House and eight years as executive director of the Idaho Real Estate Commission.