BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little appointed a new state lawmaker to the House on Tuesday.
Pastor Tim Remington of Coeur d' Alene will replace former Rep. John Green, who was expelled from the Legislature in early January after being convicted of felony tax fraud.
Remington's name made headlines around the state four years ago after he survived a shooting at his North Idaho church.
In March 2016, Remington was leaving Sunday services at his church and walking to his car when Kyle Odom approached him from behind and shot him multiple times.
Remington said he was shot six times in the back and once in the head. He suffered multiple injuries including back and shoulder damage, a shattered right arm, a collapsed lung and more. He underwent several hours of surgery and since then, has had a long road to recovery.
“I can’t feel with my right hand at all," he said. "I still walk with a little bit of a limp, little bent over because it hurts to be straight up because one of the shots went through my belt and through my pelvic bone. And I forget things now and then.”
The reason Odom shot him?
“He saw me as an alien and this entity that came into his life told him that he needed to take me out for everybody's sake,” Remington said. "He thought he was doing good."
While Remington didn't expect the appointment to the Legislature, he's happy for the opportunity.
“I believe it’s an honor to take that position," he said. "It’s not a burden even though I know this is going to be a weird change for me.”
He believes he was appointed to the position for a reason.
"Sometimes the Lord opens doors we do not expect,” he said.
As he starts his new role in government, Remington plans to take a closer look at the recently introduced anti-abortion bill, which aims to make all abortions illegal in the state of Idaho. He feels that one needs a lot more discussion before decisions are made.
Another big passion of his is a bill that aims to give addicted juveniles a resource for recovery. He says this is something he's been working on for years with the Department of Health and Welfare. Now, he's working with other lawmakers from Northern Idaho to move the bill forward.
“We have 100 beds for adults but we have zero for juveniles because they won’t let us," Remington said. "And if we had it for juveniles, we could get to these juveniles without government overreach into what we’re doing. We could get to these juveniles and save their lives.”
The North Idaho Republican's other priority as he takes office will be using his background as a pastor to heal wounds and make peace within the Legislature.
“Our party has been fractured for a long time. Both parties are fractured," he said. "So I really want to add any healing that I can.
“We don’t need to get mad at each other, we don’t need to holler at each other," he continued. "This is a simple thing of sitting down person-to-person and if I can use the term – time to grow up – and have man to man conversations without throwing a big fit over these kinds of things and I hope we can do that.”
As for Odom, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He must serve at least 10 years before he is eligible for parole.
Remington has stated throughout the whole process that he isn't the victim - Odom is. He has also publicly stated that he forgives Odom for what happened. He plans to visit him at the state prison while he's in Boise.
Remington will officially be sworn in as a lawmaker Thursday, Jan. 30.