Grandson of Sen. Davis steps up in a ‘moment of crisis’

While his grandfather — Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis of Idaho Falls — is rarely at a loss for words, 11-year-old Parker Davis didn’t expect Gov. Butch Otter would call on him to comment after Otter proclaimed March American Red Cross Month.

“You have something you want to say?” Otter asked Parker Davis, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony with his father, Christopher Davis, regional chief Development officer for the Red Cross of Greater Idaho.

As the young Davis hesitated, Otter said, “Your granddad would be proud of you,” and then explained to the crowd in his ceremonial office, “This is Bart Davis’s grandson.”

Equal to the challenge, Parker stepped to the microphone and addressed the group and two reporters, saying, “Just that I’m happy that all the people who help Idaho for the Red Cross through donations of all sorts of stuff.”

“Alright, good job!” said Otter. “Talk about a moment of crisis.”


After the ceremony, Parker hung out on the Capitol’s first floor as his dad helped demonstrate CPR on a training dummy. The oldest of three children of Christopher and Kodie Davis of Meridian, Parker is home-schooled with help from the Idaho Virtual Academy.

The Red Cross of Greater Idaho serves 1.4 million people in 39 of Idaho’s 44 counties, Malheur County, Ore., and Asotin and Garfield counties in Washington. Idaho’s five northern counties are attached to Washington State. Headquartered in Boise, the agency helps 140,000 people annually.

(Note: I delayed posting this in order to obtain the photograph above, which arrived late Wednesday thanks to Andrew Bergloff. Parker Davis is the shorter figure with Otter at the podium. Christopher Davis is at right.)

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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