Kathy Simpson — congressman’s wife — to help pick Idaho judges

Kathy Simpson, the wife of 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, has been named by Gov. Butch Otter to one of seven seats on the Idaho Judicial Council, which vets and nominates candidates for district and appellate judges and Idaho Supreme Court justices to the governor.

The panel also investigates complaints against state judges and makes recommendations to the Supreme Court for disciplinary actions.

Kathy Simpson is retired after working for more than 20 years at the Idaho National Laboratory. She also sits on the state Board of Veterinary Medicine and an advisory member of the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Idaho.

She replaces Ron Nate, a professor at BYU-Idaho, whose term expired Sunday.

Congressman Simpson is a former speaker of the Idaho House who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. He is expected to seek a ninth two-year term next year.

A news release from Otter follows:



(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Kathy Simpson of Idaho Falls, the wife of Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, to the seven-member Idaho Judicial Council.

Mrs. Simpson succeeds Ronald Nate of Rexburg, whose term expired June 30.

“Having consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration of justice is important to every citizen,” Mrs. Simpson wrote in applying for the position. “It would be an honor to contribute to the council’s efforts through my life and professional experiences.”

The Judicial Council oversees discipline and retirement of judicial officers, and considers and submits nominations to the Governor on judicial appointments.

Mrs. Simpson also is a member of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine and an advisory board member for the McClure Center at the University of Idaho.  She is retired from more than 20 years of work at the Idaho National Laboratory and previously worked in banking after earning a bachelor’s degree at Utah State University.

She and her husband, Mike – who represents Idaho’s 2nd District in Congress – have been married for more than 40 years.

“Having served with Mike in Congress, I know how busy life can be for people like the Simpsons who are so committed to public service at both the local and national levels,” Governor Otter said. “I appreciate Kathy’s willingness to take on this new responsibility. She’s a great addition to the Judicial Council.”





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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