Gem State Roundup
Republican leaders choose three Idaho redistricting commission members
The Idaho House of Representatives in session at the Idaho Capitol on April 6, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
The three Republican members of the Idaho Citizens Committee for Reapportionment have been named by party leaders, according to press releases sent on Thursday. The committee is tasked with redrawing legislative and congressional district maps with updated U.S. Census Bureau data every 10 years.
Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, announced the appointment of John Simpson, a local attorney, as the first of six members. Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise, selected former Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis as the second member, and Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna appointed former Rep. Eric Redman, who represented Kootenai County from 2014 to 2018.
According to previous reporting by the Idaho Capital Sun, legislative and political party leaders will appoint a total of six members to the committee, sometimes referred to as the Redistricting Commission. There will be three Republicans and three Democrats serving on the commission, and it will take at least four votes to approve a map. Two of the six commissioners will be appointed by political parties, while legislative leaders appoint the other four.
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, and House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, will make their own appointments as well.
Idaho’s redistricting process is expected to begin in September based on U.S. Census Bureau data the state expects to receive in August, state officials told legislative leaders Tuesday during the Legislative Council meeting at the Statehouse.
“We have a strong, cohesive team for this redistricting process,” Luna said in the release. “This is not an easy task, but this team will do an outstanding job of redistricting Idaho and guaranteeing that all voices across our state are fairly represented.”
Simpson was appointed in 2010 by then-Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter as a representative to the Western States Water Council, and in 2019 Gov. Brad Little invited Simpson to participate in the Governor’s Salmon Task Force. He is a founding member of Barker Rosholt & Simpson LLP, a law firm with locations in Boise and Twin Falls that specializes in environmental and water issues.
Davis served in the Idaho Legislature for nearly 20 years, and served as a U.S. Attorney in former President Donald Trump’s administration. Davis represented Bonneville County from 1998 to 2016.
Redman is a former State Representative from 2014 to 2018 from Idaho’s second legislative district in Kootenai County. hE is a small business owner and insurance agent of Redman Insurance. He is a Vietnam Veteran and has served on the North Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters and the Northwest Property Owners Association.
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