BOISE - The Idaho Statehouse has been around more than a hundred years. And some would argue the legislators that occupy the Senate and House chambers today could claim the same age range.
"There's not anybody that looks like me in the legislature," said Sen. Lori Den Hartog. "If you look at the average age of legislators it's pretty obvious that it's missing."
What was missing is what Den Hartog hoped to provide. That is, a 36-year-old woman with young children. Her dad tends to agree.
"She says, 'You know, no offense, Dad, but it's a bunch of old, white guys," said Rep. John Vander Woude.
He should know. He's one of those "old, white guys" she was talking about.
Vander Woude is serving his fourth term in the Idaho House of Representatives. Asked to describe his day as the majority caucus chair, Vander Woude explains, "I've got my morning committee and health and welfare and then we go on the floor and then I've got two afternoon committees.
"I leave the house at 7 o'clock in the morning and I get home at 9 o'clock at night," he added.
But Rep. Vander Woude and his busy schedule didn't deter his daughter from running for office two years ago. In fact, he was the one who suggested it.
"It was my mom who said, 'No, honey. Please don't do that,'" laughs Den Hartog.
Winning the Senate seat in Meridian's District 22 marked a milestone in Idaho history - the first time a father and daughter have served together in the same term, representing the same district.
"As far as I know, there's not been a father-daughter," said Vander Woude. "Especially not where the daughter is a senator and outranks her dad, you know?"
Until a few years ago, Vander Woude owned a dairy and a milk testing company, when he decided to pursue a passion in politics.
"So it was an open seat, so I paid the $30, put my name on the ballot and started knocking on doors," he said.
Growing up in rural Ada County, Den Hartog says she didn't fall far from her father's self-made tree. They're both Republican, and they represent the same constituents. So they obviously agree on everything.
"Yes. Yes. And no," laughed Den Hartog.
Added Vander Woude, "I've been married for 42 years. My wife still doesn't agree with me all the time."
That free thought comes from Den Hartog's upbringing too.
"The one thing I've always tried to teach my kids is be independent," said Vander Woude. "You know, think for yourself, don't let somebody else think for you."
It won't be long before Sen. Den Hartog is no longer known just as Rep. Vander Woude's daughter.
"Already it's, 'Oh, so you're Den Hartog's dad?" said Vander Woude. But he adds, "She's still my daughter, yeah, she can't get away from that."
Despite working in the same building the lawmakers often go a whole week without seeing each other. Den Hartog says they usually catch up on Sundays after church, but are quickly broken by her mother with a "No politics on Sunday!" scolding.