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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Corder to be a top staffer to Supt-elect Sherri Ybarra

Idaho state schools Superintendent-elect Sherri Ybarra has been mum since the election, but she was at the Capitol during yesterday’s organizational session, meeting with lawmakers and others. Accompanying her was former Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, who acknowledged in response to a reporter’s questions that he’ll be a top staffer for Ybarra when she takes office in January.

Ybarra said, “His job title is probably going to be ‘special assistant to the superintendent.’” Asked if that will be a full-time position, both Ybarra and Corder said yes. Much attention has been focused on whom Ybarra will bring on as her key staffers, given her lack of experience in statewide politics; Ybarra is a school administrator and former third-grade teacher from Mountain Home.

Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin spoke with lawmakers yesterday about Ybarra’s transition to the state office; his full report is online here. He reports that Ybarra has assembled a transition team and has accepted outgoing Superintendent Tom Luna’s offer to work with his team to begin preparing to take office, something State Department of Education spokesman Brady Moore confirmed. Ybarra has also met with education stakeholders. “We talked with her about some of our issues and concerns and also welcomed her to her new office,” IEA President Penni Cyr told Idaho EdNews.

Corder served in the Senate from 2005 to 2012. A trucking company owner, he chaired the Agricultural Affairs and Local Government and Taxation committees. He lost to Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, in the GOP primary in 2012 after redistricting forced the two sitting senators into the same district.

Corder was an outspoken advocate of reviewing Idaho’s $1.75 billion in existing sales tax breaks, which prompted IACI to unsuccessfully target him for defeat in the 2008 election. He co-sponsored landmark child care licensing legislation in 2009 with then-Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene. And he was the lead sponsor of a bipartisan bill in 2008 to extend the Idaho Human Rights Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. A Senate committee voted 6-2 to introduce the bill, which included an exemption for religious organizations, but it never got a hearing.

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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