BOISE -- Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has appointed Rep. Janie Ward-Engelking to fill a seat in the Idaho Senate that was vacated in November by the resignation of Sen. Branden Durst.
The Boise senator resigned after a NewsChannel 7 investigation revealed he was only living in Idaho part-time after his wife took a teaching job in Washington state earlier this year. He resigned Dec. 1 and said he was doing so to focus on his family's needs.
“Representative Ward-Engelking was part of an exemplary freshman class in the Idaho House. Now she has the opportunity to continue her work in the Idaho Senate, where I’m confident she will continue to serve the people of District 18 well,” Otter said.
Ward-Engelking, a retired teacher, was among three nominees submitted to the governor by the District 18 Democratic Legislative Committee. She will serve the final year of Durst's two-year legislative term.
Her appointment to the Senate now creates a vacancy in the Idaho House of Representatives. That same Democratic committee will submit three names to the governor to become her successor.