Idaho Senate leader Bob Geddes will not seek re-election as Pro Tem

Geddes, 55, is the longest-serving pro tem in Idaho history and his announcement sets up prospects of a wholesale shift in leadership among majority Republicans.

At least two of the four leadership positions were already being contested at next week's organizational session. Geddes' decision ensures that at least three spots will be in play and raises the prospect of all four leadership posts changing. With four freshman Republican senators replacing less conservative predecessors, the more moderate Senate is edging closer to the more conservative House. How that will play out in leadership races is unclear.

Two candidates immediately emerged to succeed Geddes, Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher of Meridian and Senate Local Government and Taxation Chairman Brent Hill of Rexburg.

Fulcher announced his candidacy in an e-mail to colleagues shortly after 10 a.m. Monday. Hill later told the Statesman he is running.

Other possible successors were thought to include: the No. 2 in GOP leadership, Majority Leader Bart Davis of Idaho Falls; Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron of Rupert; Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Denton Darrington of Declo; and three-term Sen. Jeff Siddoway of Terreton.

Cameron said Monday afternoon that he will remain chairman of the Finance Committee, as the state wrestles with huge budget problems.

Geddes, Soda Springs, had hoped to keep the news quiet until Wednesday, when the weekly newspapers in his Southeast Idaho district publish.

He e-mailed an embargoed news release to his Senate colleagues and staff about 8 a.m. Monday, asking that the news not be spread until Wednesday.

But Cameron broke the news shortly after 10 a.m. on Twitter, writing, "Shocked today! PresProTem Geddes announces he's not running for ProTem. He has served very well & big shoes 4 his successor."

Cameron said he didn't realize Geddes had asked for an embargo and had heard the news from a colleague. He then spoke with Geddes, posting his tweet before he read the news release.

Geddes told the Statesman he decided it was time to step down in advance of the Legislature's organizational session, Dec. 1-2.

"It's not a job you get tired of, but you may get tired," Geddes said.

Geddes will remain in the Senate, where he has served 16 years.

Geddes also said that if the embargo was broken, he understood that other media would run the story.

His news release follows:

"The President Pro Tempore of the Idaho State Senate is a bi-partisan position that is elected by all serving Senators. I was first elected to that position in 2000 and have now served in that capacity for 10 years, the longest ever in Idaho’s history. It has been an incredible experience and one that I have truly honored and enjoyed. I have served in leadership with legislative members that I absolutely respect and admire. I have also had the honor of working closely with House Speakers Newcomb and Denney; Governors Batt, Kempthorne, Risch and Otter and their respective administrations.

I will not seek re-election for Senate leadership during the 2010 Reorganizational Session that will be held in Boise on December 1-2.

I am elected to continue serving in the Idaho State Senate and I will continue to represent the citizens of District 31 in that capacity.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to each and every Senator that I have and will continue to serve with, as well as the citizens of our great state. I have enjoyed tremendous support, experiences and the opportunities that fulfilling the responsibilities of President Pro Tempore in the Idaho State Senate provides.

I have worked with a wonderful group of Senate and state employees who support the legislative process and enhance openness and access to government. I want to thank each of them for their dedicated service.

Most of all, I express thanks to my wife Tammy and family for allowing me time and support necessary to serve in this leadership capacity."

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this is very disheartening news

Senator Geddes was often a moderating influence.

Wow, so Idaho politics gets

Wow, so Idaho politics gets even more conservative? Wasn't sure that was possible.
Really sucks for the prospect of decent education, transportation, and services in this state.

Wow!

So move!

Ahh, the typical

Ahh, the typical conservative "love it or leave it" reply. Sorry, I've lived here for 40 years and have determined that, so far, the benefits outweigh the politics. However, if the religious right fundamentalists are allowed to take over the Republican party and the state then I don't know...

That's like syaing...

Sarah Palin could get even dumber!

Interesting!

Now the in-house (Senate) power brokering and the IOUs will be called in. Regardless, watch for a BIG change in Senate proceedings! Geddes has kept the peace and discord honorable.

Even more Conservative?

Is that even possible? This is going to get ugly.

Watch Out

Watch out anyone who is not well connected to big business!

Whine, whine, whine!

Boy, the vocal minority is out in force today!

Okay, Dan -- rest of story

Anticipate further reading on this beginning story. Politics is politics and when you've collected IOUs and they've been discounted and overlooked, it will be pay back time before you know it especially when its a one political party administration for toooooooo long.

Conservative Agenda

Good, now maybe the Senate and House can be a little more ideologically togther and hammer out a conservative agenda and not a moderate/conservative one. I will second the conservative shut up or get out mindset. Suck it up and either accept being a Democrat in this state or leave. Hey I am sure in CA you would be happy, after all Democrats have driven that state into a ditch.

Yeah but...

... at least Gollyfornia has top-notch schools and transportation!

(/sarcasm)

I tend to agree with you, Gabe. There are 3 parties in the Idaho Legislature:
1) Democrats
2) RINOs (the vast majority)
3) Conservatives

They will

be held even less accountable than before, not that they were anyway.

Yup..........watch out for book banning

Rewriting history......creationism....women's rights.....prayer in school.....more tax breaks for friends.....coming soon to a legislature near you!

Ethics

Now it is even more important that ethics in government be closely and ardently pursued. When one political party has too much power there is no balance to government for the people, of the people and with the people.

One has only to watch the GOP and Rep. Phil Hart...

to see how the majority party intends to encourage ethics in State government. Up to now, Rep. Hart, a tax cheater and lumber thief, has gotten away scott-free. If ethical behavior was the standard, he'd be recalled by voters in his district or expelled by the members of his own party in the Idaho House.

Could it be that total GOP control isn't good?

At least Bob Geddes is an honest man. Kudos for that.

If you like paint-drying self-torture...

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