BOISE – Longtime Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa announced Friday that he’s decided not to seek a fourth term in the office, choosing instead to retire.
Ysursa, 64, is something of an institution, having served not only as secretary of state for the past 12 years, but before that as chief deputy to the secretary of state beginning in the 1970s.
Former Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, already has announced that he’s running for the post, at which point Ysursa said he was undecided about retirement. Several other candidates also have expressed interest should Ysursa retire.
“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve the great people of the state of Idaho as secretary of state and as deputy secretary of state for the last four decades, but it is time to step down,” Ysursa said in a statement Friday afternoon.
He noted that he’ll continue to serve through the end of his term, which runs through the start of 2015.
“My office has a tradition of fairness, efficiency and service which will continue throughout the rest of my term,” Ysursa said.
Ysursa is a 1971 graduate of Gonzaga University and holds a law degree from St. Louis University Law School. A Republican and a proud Basque, he first went to work in the Idaho Secretary of State’s office in 1974.