Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has appointed John Rusche, former House minority leader and a retired pediatrician from Lewiston, to the Idaho Water Resources Board. “John Rusche has been a reasonable and constructive partner in developing public policies that work for the people of Idaho,” Otter said in a statement. “I know he will continue to burnish that enviable record in this new assignment. I admire and appreciate his willingness to serve by bringing his expertise and civic virtue to bear on some of our most significant resource issues.”
Rusche will fill a vacancy created when current member Chuck Cuddy announced he was stepping down; his unexpired term runs through January of 2019. Cuddy also served in the Idaho House as a Democrat; the board is required by law to be split between members of different parties.
Rusche, former chief medical officer for Regence BlueShield of Idaho and a current board member for the Your Health Idaho insurance exchange, said in a statement, “Idaho’s water is important for the health and vitality of our communities. It also is one of the major assets upon which future economic development will depend. My community depends on Idaho waters for transportation and recreation. Growth and development requires that science and sound political processes be applied in creative ways to meet our needs going forward. I think I can help.”
Rusche served six terms in the Idaho House before losing a re-election bid in 2016 to current Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston; he served for eight years as the House minority leader.