Election Central

Otter appoints Boise lawyer Rubel to Idaho House

Gov. Butch Otter on Wednesday appointed Ilana Rubel to fill the vacant House seat left by Otter’s appointment of Rep. Janie Ward-Engelking to the Senate.

Rubel, a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, now represents a district which includes Southeast Boise and a portion of South Boise. She was the top nominee of three names submitted to Otter by the District 18 Democratic Committee.

Ward-Engelking replaced former Sen. Branden Durst, who resigned to move to Washington state.

Otter’s news release follows:


(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Boise attorney Ilana Rubel to the Idaho House of Representatives. She fills a District 18 vacancy created when then-Representative Janie Ward-Engelking was appointed to the Idaho Senate.

Rubel was among three candidates nominated by the District 18 Democratic Legislative Committee to succeed Ward-Engelking, whom Governor Otter appointed on December 20 to the seat left open by the resignation of Senator Branden Durst.

“I am very grateful to have this opportunity to work with my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle to help bring top-quality jobs to our state, make our schools the best they can be, and protect Idaho’s natural resources for generations to come,” Rubel said.

Rubel, 41, has lived in Boise for 14 years and is a litigation partner at the law firm Fenwick & West in Boise. She is a Georgetown University and Harvard Law School graduate. She and her husband, attorney John Paschke, have four children.

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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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics