Candidate for governor won’t resign after all, names long-term substitute for Legislature

Idaho state Rep. Paulette Jordan speaks during a women’s march rally Jan. 21 in Las Vegas.
Idaho state Rep. Paulette Jordan speaks during a women’s march rally Jan. 21 in Las Vegas. AP file

Gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Paulette Jordan will appoint a long-term substitute to fill her seat for the rest of the legislative session, instead of resigning, as she announced earlier this week.

Jordan, D-Plummer, announced on Wednesday that she would step down from her District 5 legislative seat to concentrate on running for governor.

In her news release, Jordan stated that Gov. Butch Otter would appoint a Democratic replacement to serve the remainder of her term. That ends in November 2018.

But that creates a gap, she told the Statesman on Friday. “If I resign, the problem would be a 30-day gap in representation for my district,” she said.

Under Idaho law, when a lawmaker resigns midterm, the respective political party has 15 days to provide the governor with the names of three possible replacements. The governor then has another 15 days to appoint one of the three – or someone else. Once a decision is made, the appointee may immediately take office and begin conducting legislative business.

By the time the process finished, Jordan said, the session could almost be over.

Jordan said she made the change “to maintain continuity of the position.”

“It was recommended by the (House) chief clerk to appoint a substitute so that there would be no time or votes missed,” she said.

Carrie Maulin, chief clerk of the House, told the Statesman that she helped Jordan review state statute regarding a lawmaker’s resignation, but didn’t advise Jordan on what to do. “Those choices were her own,” Maulin said.

Friday was Jordan’s last day at the Capitol. She said she has selected St. Maries City Councilwoman Margie Gannon as her substitute.

Jordan was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2016 to District 5’s House Seat A. As a representative she served on the House Environment, Energy & Technology, Resources & Conservation, and State Affairs committees.

She is running against Boise businessman A.J. Balukoff in the May Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell