BOISE - Dan Popkey, longtime political reporter and columnist for the Idaho Statesman, is leaving journalism to become the press secretary for 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador, Labrador announced Tuesday.
“I’ve learned that one has to have an exceptional communications strategy to effectively represent Idaho in Congress,” Labrador said in a statement. “I know that Dan will help me better communicate my message to constituents and the media.”
The Statesman announced Tuesday that Popkey’s resignation, after nearly three decades with the newspaper, is effective immediately; he starts his new job Monday.
Popkey, 55, has been at the Statesman since 1984; he’s won numerous awards for investigative reporting.
In a news release from Labrador’s office, he said, “I’ve come to deeply respect Congressman Labrador’s independence, integrity and fierce commitment to setting our nation’s fiscal house in order. It’s bittersweet to leave journalism, my first love, but I’m thrilled with the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned to help advance our state’s priorities in Washington.”