Sen. Shirley McKague, R-Meridian, had been caring for her husband, Paul, following knee replacement surgery.
She was welcomed back to the Senate floor Monday by Assistant Republican Leader Chuck Winder, who thanked McKague for retiring and not challenging him in the May 13 primary now that new lines put them in the same district.
Winder also thanked McKague's fill-in, Patrick Molloy, for choosing to run for the House rather than the Senate. McKague served five House terms and is completing her third Senate term. McKague has endorsed both Winder and Malloy.
After Winder spoke, Lt. Gov. Brad Little recognized Sen. Dean Cameron, joking that he had a "similar announcement" to make regarding what is lining up to be an epic primary contest between two Senate lions: Cameron, chairman of the Finance Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Denton Darrington. Cameron, of Rupert, and Darrington, of Declo, will run in the same district in May. Cameron is a 22-year Senate veteran, Darrington has served 30 years.
Cameron and Darrington, who sit next to one another on the floor, both laughed at Little's joke, and Cameron quipped, "One can only hope," eying his friend Darrington.
Later, Darrington welcomed McKague back to the Judiciary Committee, saying, "You ready to go?"
Said McKague: "I'm glad to be back."
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