Gov. Butch otter has appointed Melinda Smyser to Brad Little's former Senate seat. Otter chose Smyser, a GOP activist who was the top choice of a district party committee that submitted three names to the governor, over Caldwell farmer Sid Freeman and Rep. Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett, to fill the District 11 seat. “Melinda is active, engaged and knowledgeable. She knows the issues, the people and the process. She will make a great state senator,” Otter said. “It’s been well known for a long time that if someone wants to get something done in Canyon County politics, Melinda should be involved. That kind of approach will carry her a long way in the Idaho Senate.” Smyser, a former school district trustee who holds a master's degree in education from the College of Idaho, was named "Canyon County Republican of the Year" in 2008. She is the wife of prominent lobbyist Skip Smyser. Click below to read Otter's full announcement.
C.L. "Butch" Otter, Governor
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today named Melinda Smyser of Parma to the District 11 Idaho Senate seat left vacant by his appointment of Brad Little as lieutenant governor.
Smyser, 50, was the top choice among three nominees submitted to the Governor on Thursday by the District 11 Republican Legislative Committee. Also nominated were Caldwell farmer Sid Freeman and Representative Carlos Bilbao of Emmett.
District 11 includes Gem County and part of northern Canyon County.
Smyser is a former president of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women. The University of Idaho graduate with a master’s degree in education from the College of Idaho will serve the balance of the two-year term to which Little was re-elected in November. Little resigned from the Senate when Governor Otter appointed him to succeed Jim Risch, who resigned as lieutenant governor to become a member of the U.S. Senate.
Smyser was named Canyon County Republican of the Year in 2008, and was Outstanding Idaho Republican Woman in 1999. She has served on the Parma School Board and in leadership roles on a number of education-related associations, committees and civic groups. Her husband, C.A. “Skip” Smyser, is a prominent attorney and lobbyist who served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1981 through 1982 and in the Idaho Senate from 1983 through 1990.
The Smysers have four children: Lincoln, Logan, Landon and Lauren.
“Melinda is active, engaged and knowledgeable. She knows the issues, the people and the process. She will make a great state senator,” Governor Otter said. “It’s been well known for a long time that if someone wants to get something done in Canyon County politics, Melinda should be involved. That kind of approach will carry her a long way in the Idaho Senate.”