Idaho state Sen. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, dies at age 76

Nye served three terms in the Idaho Senate and one in the Idaho House

By: - July 22, 2022 6:49 am
Sen. Mark Nye

Sen. Mark Nye (D, Pocatello) at the Idaho Capitol on April 6, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Idaho Sen. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, has died at the age of 76, according to a press release from the Idaho Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. 

Nye, who worked as an attorney, was finishing his third term in the Idaho Senate this year. He previously served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2014 to 2016. Nye did not seek re-election this year.

During the 2022 session, Nye served on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee.

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Rep. James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, described Nye as a mentor and supporter of higher education who was respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his kindness.

“Mark was an essential part of this community for so many years,” Ruchti said in a written statement. “Mark was a respected attorney, a huge supporter of ISU and loved by the community. I think the thing I most respected about Mark was that he was kind to people. From the janitor to the CEO, he treated people with respect.”

Raised in Pocatello, Nye earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Idaho.

Nye previously served as president of the Idaho State Bar Association and was one of the few Idahoans elected to the governing board of the American Bar Association, according to Nye’s bio at the Idaho Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, where Nye served on the state committee. Nye also volunteered at local soup kitchens and served on the Idaho Centennial Commission and as a chairman of an Idaho State University fundraising campaign.

Sen. Nye will be missed,” Rep. Laurie Lickley, R-Twin Falls, tweeted on Thursday. “I served with him on the Idaho EPSCoR Committee where his thoughtful and quiet thoughts were always appreciated. Rest in Peace, and may your family find comfort in the memories.” 

Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti also shared his condolences on Twitter. 

“Even though Sen. Nye served the Pocatello area, he frequently reached out to me to share information or to seek advice on legislation as it may have affected my city,” Coletti tweeted. “He was a thoughtful and conscientious legislator and a good man.”

Nye’s Democratic colleagues said Nye was married to his wife, Eva, and will be remembered as a husband, father, grandfather, public servant and mentor.

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“Mark will be missed,” Ruchti said. “The community won’t be the same without him.”

Ruchti is presently running for Nye’s seat in the Idaho Senate and will run against Republican David Worley in the Nov. 8 general election. 

Nye was one of at least 11 members of the 20-member Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee that will not be returning to the Idaho Legislature for the 2023 session. Several other JFAC members decided not to run again, ran for a different office or lost primary elections. 

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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.

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