Idaho’s Risch occupies 3rd-longest-held GOP US Senate seat — since 1949

The seat Sen. Jim Risch will defend next year as Republicans eye control of the U.S. Senate has been in Republican hands since 1949, trailing in longevity only two Kansas seats which have been held by the GOP since 1919 and 1939.

So reports Eric Ostermeier at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Ostermeier has a knack for such cocktail-party-chat lists. Earlier this month, he reported that former Idaho Govs. Cecil Andrus (No. 11) and Bob Smylie (No. 31) were among the nation’s 50 longest-serving governors.

Here’s an excerpt from Ostermeier’s post today:

“Idaho’s Class II seat, currently occupied by Jim Risch, has been held by Republicans ever since Henry Dworshak began his second stint in the chamber in October 1949.

“Dworshak had won a special election in 1946 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator John Thomas, but then lost the 1948 general election by approximately 3,100 votes to Democrat Bert Miller.

“However, Miller, a former State Attorney General and State Supreme Court justice, died after just nine months in office and Dworshak was appointed back to the seat on October 14, 1949.

“Dworshak was elected in 1950, 1954, and 1960 to help build a streak that has lasted 63 years, 6 months, and 15 days and counting in the Gem State with Len Jordan (1962-1973), James McClure (1973-1991), Larry Craig (1991-2009), and Risch (2009-present) succeeding him in the chamber.”

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.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Idaho Politics