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GOP has list to fill Noble’s Senate seat

Associated Press

MERIDIAN, Idaho – An executive with an electronics company and an employee for a storage pod company top a Republican committee’s list of three nominees to fill the Senate seat left empty by Jack Noble.

Preco Electronics Vice President Russ Fulcher was chosen as the Republican District 21 precinct committee’s top pick, followed by storage company employee Dan Dunham. Third was Steven J. Watts, a business consultant specializing in economic strategies.

The committee had selected Ken Jantz as its No. 2 pick, but it reported Wednesday night that Jantz had not been registered to vote in the district long enough, so was therefore ineligible for the nomination, said Wayne Hammon of the committee.

The committee heard from 20 candidates for the southwest Ada County seat before settling on the three names to send to Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. He has 15 days to make his selection, and usually accepts the local party leaders’ top choice.

Noble resigned from the Legislature last week after an ethics committee concluded that he had pursued legislation to benefit his business without declaring the conflict and lied to the committee about it. The ethics panel recommended Noble be censured, but several senators were lining up the two-thirds majority that would be required to expel him.

Fulcher, a 43-year-old former Micron Technology executive, credited his choice as the committee’s top pick to his family’s long history in the area and spoke of his dedication to the GOP platform.

“If you know the platform, you know how I vote,” Fulcher said. He said the district needs a senator who is a “dedicated, family-oriented fiscal conservative.”

Noble’s wife, Tracey, was among the Republican precinct committee officials screening applicants for the job.

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