Jim Risch

Jim Risch

Infobox Officeholder
name = Jim Risch

imagesize =

caption =
order = 31st Governor of Idaho
term_start = May 26, 2006
term_end = January 1, 2007
lieutenant = None (May - June 2006)
Mark Ricks (Jun 2006 - Jan 2007)
predecessor = Dirk Kempthorne
successor = Butch Otter
order2 = 41st Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
term_start2 = January 1, 2007
term_end2 =
governor2 = Butch Otter
predecessor2 = Mark Ricks
successor2 =
order3 = 39th Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
term_start3 = January 3, 2003
term_end3 = May 26, 2006
governor3 = Dirk Kempthorne
predecessor3 = Jack Riggs
successor3 = Mark Ricks
birth_date= birth date and age |1943|05|3
birth_place= Milwaukee, Wisconsin
alma_mater= University of Idaho
spouse= Vicki Risch
profession= Attorney
religion=Latin Rite Catholic

James Elroy Risch (born May 3, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is the current Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, candidate for United States Senate, and a former Governor. He became Governor on May 26, 2006 because he was serving as Lieutenant Governor when his predecessor Dirk Kempthorne resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Risch is a rancher, attorney and politician from Ada County. He was the first Catholic to serve as Governor of Idaho in over 90 years.


Risch attended the University of Idaho where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He obtained his B.S. in Forestry in 1965 and continued his education at the university's College of Law, serving on Law Review,receiving his J.D. in 1968.

Risch entered politics in 1970, at age 27, winning election as Ada County Prosecuting Attorney. While serving in this capacity, he taught undergraduate classes in criminal justice at Boise State University and served as the President of the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

Political career

Risch was first elected to the Idaho State Senate from Ada County in 1974. He entered the state senate leadership in 1976, serving as majority leader and later as president pro tempore. In a dramatic upset, Risch was defeated for reelection in 1988 by Democratic political newcomer and Boise attorney Mike Burkett. As of mid-2006, it remains Idaho's most expensive legislative contest.

In the second political defeat of his career, Risch lost the 1994 primary election for a state senate seat to Roger Madsen. Risch returned to the state senate in 1995, as an appointee of Governor Phil Batt, who had named Madsen as the state commerce department's director.

In January 2001, Risch had his eye on the lieutenant governor's seat vacated by "Butch" Otter, who resigned to take his elected seat in Congress. However, Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed state senator Jack Riggs of Coeur d'Alene to the post instead. The following year Risch defeated Riggs in the Republican primary and won the general election, spending $360,000 of his own money to win the $27,000 a year, part-time post.

On May 26, 2006, Risch became Governor of Idaho when Kempthorne resigned to become the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Risch served out the remaining seven months of Kempthorne's term, which ended in January 2007.

In August 2006, Risch called a special session of the Idaho Legislature to consider his proposed property tax reform bill, entitled the Property Tax Relief Act of 2006.

2006 election

Risch was expected to enter the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary to succeed Kempthorne, who was completing his second term at this time of his federal appointment. However, Congressman Otter had announced his candidacy for the position in December 2004, and had gained a significant headstart in campaigning and fundraising. In November 2005, Risch announced his intention to seek election again as lieutenant governor.

Risch was unopposed for the 2006 Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and defeated former Democratic Congressman Larry LaRocco in the general election. Risch's term as governor ended in January 2007 and he returned to the role of lieutenant governor.

2008 election

On August 31, 2007, the Associated Press reported that Risch may be appointed United States Senator by current Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter to succeed the embattled Larry Craig. The "Idaho Statesman" reported on September 1, however, that Otter's spokesman denied Risch had been selected and that the governor "has made no decision and he is not leaning toward anybody." [cite news
title=Risch rumors about replacing Sen. Craig are 'dead wrong'
publisher=Idaho Statesman
] On October 9, Risch announced that he is running for the now open senate seat. [cite news
title=Jim Risch announces Senate bid
publisher=Coeur d'Alene Press
] In May 2008, Risch was selected as the Republican nominee for Craig's open seat in the U.S. Senate. He will meet Larry LaRocco, a former Democratic congressman, in the November general election. [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004442211_apididahosenate1stldwritethru.html?syndication=rss] Risch has defeated LaRocco in two previous elections: for a state senate seat in 1986 and for lieutenant governor in 2006.


External links

* [http://lgo.idaho.gov/biography.html Office of the Lieutenant Governor] Lieutenant Governor Risch's biography
* [http://www.vote-smart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS020815 Project Vote Smart] Risch biography
* [http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060526/NEWS01/60526007 Risch becomes Idaho's 31st governor] "The Idaho Statesman" 26-May-2006
* [http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060318/NEWS010702/603180334/1024/NEWS01 Risch revels in upcoming term as king] "The Idaho Statesman" 18-March-2006
* [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/external/pre-election/bios/15344.html?SITE=NVLASELN&SECTION=POLITICS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT 2004 Elections - News, opinions & voter information]
* [http://www.risch4idaho.com Jim Risch For US Senate 2008]


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