Gem State Roundup

Idaho House speaker to appoint different redistricting member due to lobbying requirements

By: - July 16, 2021 12:30 pm

John Simpson (Courtesy of Idaho GOP).

One day after announcing local lawyer John Simpson would serve on the Idaho Citizens Committee for Reapportionment, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke will appoint someone else, according to a press release.

Simpson removed his name from consideration after learning he was not eligible based on his status as a registered lobbyist.

“During the interview I was asked if I was a registered lobbyist and I responded that I was not,” Simpson said in the release. “I had terminated that registration in June but was unaware that Idaho law required appointees to be free of lobby registration for at least a year.”

The committee is tasked with redrawing legislative and congressional district maps with updated U.S. Census Bureau data every 10 years.

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 Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise, announced he would appoint former state Sen. Bart Davis to the commission, and Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna selected former Rep. Eric Redman. Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, and House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, will make their own appointments as well.

Simpson said he is disappointed but thanked Bedke for the opportunity.

“I’m sorry I don’t meet the eligibility requirements for this particular task, but I always stand ready to serve our great state,” Simpson said in the release.

Bedke will announce a new appointment soon, according to the release.

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Kelcie Moseley-Morris
Kelcie Moseley-Morris

Kelcie Moseley-Morris is an award-winning journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State University. Moseley-Morris started her journalism career at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, followed by the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Press.