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Eye On Boise

Substitute rep lost election but gets to serve 5 days - including seat on JFAC

Temporary Rep. Charles
Temporary Rep. Charles "Lee" Barron serves in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning (Betsy Russell)

With 12 members of JFAC new to the committee this year, or at least not having served last year, there was an even newer face among the group for the last five days: Acting Rep. Charles “Lee” Barron, R-Corral, who was filling in for freshman Rep. Steven Miller, R-Fairfield. Barron actually ran for the Legislature unsuccessfully this year, challenging Rep. Donna Pence, R-Gooding. “She and I have sat together side by side in several committees without acrimony,” Barron said. He noted that he served a term in the Legislature 40 years ago, adding, “I was retired by popular acclaim.”

Idaho allows lawmakers to appoint substitutes when they’ll be gone for more than a day or two; the subs aren’t paid, but can cast votes on behalf of the district just like the representative. Barron said Miller is “the first person from Camas County to be in the Legislature in 40 years – I was the last.”

The town of Corral, Idaho, from which he hails, has a population of three people and seven dogs. “I’m a suburbanite,” Barron chuckled. He’s also a third-generation lawmaker; his grandfather, Charles C. Barron, served in the Senate in 1931, and his father, Lloyd F. Barron, served in both the House and Senate on and off  from the late ‘30s to the early ‘60s.

Barron, whose last day filling in for Miller is today, said, “They may be your political opponents, but in my experience with the Legislature, they’re all very decent people and loyal Idahoans. It’s a great honor to serve with these people.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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