Election Central

Beck tops list of nominees to replace Idaho Rep. Patterson

Former Senate Majority Leader Rod Beck was the leading vote-getter among three nominees chosen Thursday night to succeed former Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, who resigned Sunday.

The District 15 Republican Committee will submit the nominees Friday to GOP Gov. Butch Otter, who will appoint Patterson’s replacement. The other nominees are: Patrick E. McDonald, U.S. marshal for Idaho under President George W. Bush and a 33-year veteran officer of the Idaho State Police; and Sam Hoagland, a Boise lawyer since 1982 who also is trained as a pharmacist.

In August, McDonald began campaigning to unseat Patterson in the May GOP primary. But Patterson’s resignation, coming after the news that he had failed to disclose his guilty plea in a 1974 rape case, opened the seat early.

Beck was in the Idaho Senate from 1985-1990 and in 1995. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate and to reclaim his state Senate seat. In 2008, Beck helped organize the defeat of Kirk Sullivan, Otter’s choice for Idaho Republican Party chairman.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics