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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Kenck to step down as state Democratic Party chairman

Larry Kenck, right, with his wife, Cristina (Idaho Democratic Party)
Larry Kenck, right, with his wife, Cristina (Idaho Democratic Party)

Larry Kenck, chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party, will resign Saturday for medical reasons, the party announced today; party Vice Chair Jeanne Buell will become acting chair and will head the search for Kenck’s replacement. Kenck was just re-elected in March to a second two-year term as state party chair. “Sadly, health issues have come up that I must deal with,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “The path we are on requires an active chairman that is not dealing with these issues.  There is too much work and too many duties that need to be done, now. That is why I must resign my position as party chair. No regrets – and no sadness. What we have started is only the beginning and will continue on under the talented leaders within the party.”

A new state chair will be selected at the party’s spring quarterly central committee meeting on June 13. Buell, of Worley, said in a statement, “Larry has been a true friend to Idaho Democrats and he has helped lead our party into a time of renewal, a time of growth, and a time of momentum. I know that our party has a lot of talent out there and that we will find a chairman who shares Larry’s vision of a better, balanced Idaho.” The party's full announcement is online here.

Kenck, of Post Falls, is a retired union organizer, former legislative candidate and longtime Democratic activist. He twice served as Kootenai County Democratic Party chairman.

Idaho’s Democratic Party is distinctly in the minority, with Republicans currently holding every statewide office, all four seats in the congressional delegation and 80 percent of the seats in the state Legislature. But under Kenck’s leadership, the Dems have touted their unity, most notably when both parties held state conventions in 2014, and the Democrats’ went smoothly, while the Republicans’ degenerated into a divisive fight that ended with no agreement on a party platform, resolutions or leaders.

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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