That’s why you heard a collective groan last week when Shawn announced that her current 11th term will be her last. Good legislators in North Idaho are hard to come by. She’ll leave behind a big pair of shoes to fill, including the navy pump she used as a gavel in 2005 to quiet an angry crowd at a property tax relief hearing at Sandpoint High.
Shawn’s respected statewide now. But in October 1996, she was a Republican newbie trying to unseat Tim Tucker, her district’s Democratic state senator. Former colleague Becky Nappi and I were assigned by this newspaper’s editorial board to recommend candidate endorsements in North Idaho. We picked Shawn over Tim. The board agreed. And we wrote:
“Shawn Keough, a Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce employee with timber ties and a reputation for working behind the scenes to get things done, makes a tough choice easier. She has a sterling record of community involvement which includes co-founding the Injured Logger Fund and a program that paints homes for needy seniors. Her consensus-building skills will be tested as she seeks to obtain funding for a Sandpoint bypass and to correct the state funding formula imbalance that hurts Bonner County schools. Tim Tucker, a maverick Democrat, has a solid voting record but can accomplish little from his side of the aisle.” More here. DFO/SR