UPDATED, 2:55 p.m., with further comment from Democratic Party chairman Keith Roark.
Boise Democrat and former state legislator Jim Hansen will be out as his party's executive director by year's end.
Party chairman Keith Roark announced the move in an e-mail to the Democrats' central committee members. Here it is, in full:
Following the meeting today of the Executive Committee of the Idaho Democratic Party I am announcing to the full Central Committee that the term of our current executive director, Jim Hansen, will expire December 31, 2010 and his appointment to that position will not be extended. I am forming a search committee and the process of hiring a new executive director will begin immediately. Jim has agreed to continue serving as executive director while the search process is being carried out.
Jim Hansen’s outstanding record of service to the people of Idaho and the Idaho Democratic Party is well known. He has served as a state legislator, a community organizer and as executive director of the IDP while also giving tirelessly to his church and Rotary International. We are grateful for the time and effort he has put forth during the past two and one half years and wish him well in all future endeavors.
Hansen declined comment this afternoon. Here's what Roark had to say:
"There is no 'scapegoating' involved. Jim Hansen is in no way to blame for the results of this past election. The IDP has little or nothing to do or say about the individual campaigns of our candidates and Jim is no more responsible for a losing campaign than he is for a winning campaign. Obviously, the IDP must take on the challenges ahead with new ideas, new approaches and some new faces. This move has nothing to do with what is now behind us and everything to do with what lies ahead."
The shakeup comes after Idaho Democrats were routed in the Nov. 2 elections. The Democrats lost all races for statewide office and five seats in the Idaho House of Representatives. The party's highest ranking elected official, 1st Congressional District Rep. Walt Minnick, lost to Republican challenger Raul Labrador.
More reading: Here's a link to Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist and blogger D.F. Oliveria, who broke the news earlier this afternoon at his Huckleberries Online site.