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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.

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