Longtime state legislator who fought to lead Idaho’s redistricting dies at 86

Rep. Dolores Crow (R-Nampa) serves as chairwoman for a rare conference committee of the House and Senate in order to find a compromise on HB707, a 2000 tax-cut bill.
Rep. Dolores Crow (R-Nampa) serves as chairwoman for a rare conference committee of the House and Senate in order to find a compromise on HB707, a 2000 tax-cut bill.

Longtime Idaho Republican legislator Dolores Crow, who represented Canyon County in Idaho’s House of Representatives for 24 years, has died. She was 86.

During her time in the Legislature, Crow served as chairwoman of the House Revenue and Taxation and Environmental Affairs committees. She served from 1983 to 2006.

“She would soothe the ruffled feathers of anyone,” said former Rep. Linden Batemen, R-Idaho Falls. “She was so sweet. She had her mind fixed on others. If she saw you had a difficultly, she would go out of her way to help.”

Crow was appointed to the Idaho Redistricting Commission in 2011 by then House Speaker Lawerence Denney — an appointment that would eventually be mired in controversy as the commission’s work progressed. The commission was tasked with redrawing the state’s boundaries for legislative districts in response to population changes, as outlined by the U.S. Census every 10 years.

Denney called for Crow’s resignation from the commission because he said Crow didn’t do enough to protect the Republican Party’s interests. Crow, who served as the committee’s co-chairwoman, vowed to remain on the commission to continue its work, and she ultimately did so.

“We did what we felt was good for the people of the state of Idaho,” she said in a 2012 Associated Press story. “That’s what we swore we would do, and I believe in keeping my promise.”

Crow also served as a commissioner on the Idaho Hispanic Commission and the Idaho Capitol Commission, as well as serving as a member of the Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council.

Darrell Bolz, a fellow former representative from Canyon County who served in the House, commended Crow for her service to taxpayers and to the Republican Party.

“She was a very strong supporter of fiscal responsibility,” Bolz said. “If you talk to anybody in the Legislature then, they would say something similar. She was very conservative … and she was a watchdog for the taxpayer.”

In an interview with Idaho Public Television in 2009, Crow said the Idaho Capitol Commission’s work to remodel the Statehouse is something residents can be proud of for the next 100 years.

“I kind of came in late, but oh my, to me it’s such a privilege to be able to do this and kind of spin forward my time here in this building,” she said at the time. “It’s just something I never dreamed of. I voted to put that into place, by the way, and that was fun, and to fund it, and how it was funded.”

Crow, who was the mother to six children, lived in Nampa, where she was active in her community and Crossroads Community Church.

“She was a woman of tremendous religious faith, and it showed in her countenance,” Bateman said. “I do not remember her ever, ever, ever being angry about anything. I don't remember her ever saying a cross word.”

A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church, 4170 E. Amity Ave. in Nampa, according to Crow’s obituary.

Christina Lords: 208-377-6435, @ChristinaLords