Election Central

Nominees to replace Mark Patterson likely to be named Thursday

District 15 Republicans will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. to choose three nominees to replace former Rep. Mark Patterson, who resigned Sunday after disclosure of his guilty plea in a 1974 rape case.

Patterson announced announced his resignation Dec. 20, after the District 15 Republican Committee voted unanimously to ask him to resign. But Patterson made his departure effective at midnight Sunday, 12 hours before the Legislature convened for the 2014 session, ensuring his seat would remain empty for some days.

The committee has 15 days to submit three names to Gov. Butch Otter, who, in turn, has 15 days to name a successor. Committee members and Otter have said they will act more quickly and the new lawmaker could be sworn in as early as Friday or Monday.

Nominations must come from the 15 precinct committeemen and women in the West Boise district. Nominees will be offered three minutes to speak.

The meeting is at the Renaissance Apartments at Hobble Creek, 6240 North Park Meadow Way.

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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