Election Central

Otter: Due diligence required before filling Patterson seat

Gov. Butch Otter is eager to fill the vacant Idaho House seat left by the resignation of Boise GOP Rep. Mark Patterson, but it won’t happen in a day and not before Idaho State Police complete customary background checks.

Otter’s spokesman Jon Hanian said Otter won’t have an announcement Friday after receiving three nominees for the post from the District 15 Republican Committee.

“We know there’s a vacancy and he wants to move as quickly as possible,” Hanian said. “But he’s going to do his due diligence.”

That includes the criminal checks as well as Otter’s touching bases with other people. It also may include interviews with candidates Rod Beck, Patrick E. McDonald and Sam Hoagland.

“If he makes some phone calls about a certain candidate, sometimes he’ll call them,” Hanian said. “It just depends.”

Otter has 15 days to choose among the trio, but hopes to act sooner. “I think he will come to a decision pretty quickly because that seat needs to be filled,” Hanian said.

The vacancy occurred Sunday, 12 hours before the Idaho Legislature convened, when Patterson resigned over the revelation that he’d pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit rape in 1974. Patterson announced his resignation Dec. 20, but made it effective Jan. 5.

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 Election Central, Idaho Politics