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Eye On Boise

Cameron: ‘It was time to have Sen. Keough serve as chairman, and time for me to move on’

Dean Cameron (State of Idaho)
Dean Cameron (State of Idaho)

Longtime Sen. Dean Cameron, asked how he decided to make the move from serving in the Idaho Senate and co-chairing the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee to heading the state Department of Insurance, said, “This whole thing’s been rumored for some time, but honestly, nobody had really talked to me about it, other than people coming up and saying, ‘Are you taking the job?’ Nobody of any official capacity was talking to me. So I didn’t know if it would ever take place.”

Cameron has long owned an insurance business in Rupert; he’s midway through his 13th two-year term in the Idaho Senate.

“I was asked to submit an application and submit to an interview,” Cameron said. On the day after Idaho’s May 18 special legislative session, he was interviewed by Gov. Butch Otter. “We had a very candid, very good conversation, about my style and his style and expectations. And I just came to the conclusion that perhaps it was time to have Sen. Keough serve as (Senate Finance) chairman and time for me to move on and allow somebody else to serve in my district, and this was an opportunity that I shouldn’t overlook.”

“But it’s a hard decision, because I love the Senate, I love serving in the Senate, and I love representing my constituents and helping them,” Cameron said. “But after the conversation with the governor, and he was interviewing a couple others that day as well, so he didn’t offer it to me then; it was the following day that I got the call that he would like me to serve. Then I swallowed hard and talked with my wife, and decided to accept it.”

Otter said in a statement, “While the loss to the Legislature in experienced and skilled leadership will be significant, the Department of Insurance and the individuals and businesses it serves will benefit. I know the next person in line will step up admirably in the Senate, just as I know that Dean will do a great job leading the Department of Insurance as Bill Deal did before him. I also want to publicly thank Tom Donovan for his exceptional work since Bill’s retirement and throughout his career.” Donovan, the department’s deputy director, has served as acting director since Deal’s retirement at the end of 2014.

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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