Boise Sen. Durst living part-time in Washington, says he’s still serving constituents

Boise Democratic Sen. Branden Durst is living part-time in Washington state, where his wife is working as a teacher, KTVB-Channel 7′s Jamie Grey reported Friday.

Grey reports that Durst’s Southeast Boise home “looked empty of furniture” last week but that she found Durst at home Friday.

Durst said he has been looking for work but that he plans to remain in the Legislature “for the foreseeable future.”

In a written statement to KTVB, Durst said: “As any professional, I have looked beyond the borders of my legislative district for meaningful employment. However, I am committed to serving my constituents and have been doing so diligently. I am attending meetings on their behalf, conducting research, and keeping abreast of issues impacting District 18 and the state of Idaho. I look forward to continuing to serve my community in the legislature into the foreseeable future. Any discussions of ethics are simply an attempt to distract people from the real issues facing our state that I am attacking relentlessly head on.”

Idaho law requires lawmakers be legal residents of their districts one year before Election Day.

Last week, Republican Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, acknowledged living away from her district in Caldwell because of delays in rebuilding her home on Sunnyslope. Lodge said she would move a mobile home to her property to quell criticism. Lodge is scheduled to address the Canyon County Republican Central Committee about the matter on Tuesday.

On Friday, the two contractors working on the project wrote a guest opinion for the Idaho Press-Tribune explaining the construction delays and supporting Lodge.



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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