As soon as Governor Butch Otter broke the news at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho meeting this week that Janet Trujillo will be the new state tax commissioner, many began to wonder about who might be nominated to fill her spot for House District 33.
Under the rules, the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee will forward three names to the Governor, and the Governor selects from those three. They will need to move quickly in order to have somebody in place for the Legislative Session that will start in early January.
The Committee recently went through the same process to replace State Senator Bart Davis who moved on to assume duties as the US Attorney for Idaho. They nominated three individuals and the Governor selected Tony Potts over Bryan Zollinger and Mark Fuller as the new State Senator for District 33.
One name that has been floated already is Idaho Falls City Councilwoman Barbara Ehardt. Fresh off of a run-off election for Mayor of Idaho Falls, Ehardt has solid name ID in the area and ran a credible, hardworking campaign standing for conservative values in a city that is clearly moving left in its elected official selection. Ehardt made a name for herself standing up to the Mayor of Idaho Falls on multiple issues that conflicted with fiscal conservatism.
Ehardt was born and raised in Idaho Falls and has been a respected leader on the City Council for the last four years. She is a former Division One women’s college basketball coach and volunteered in the Idaho Falls community helping families and coaching kids for many years.
Members of Bonneville County Republican Central Committee (BCRCC) helped fund a PAC that provided support for her campaign for Mayor of Idaho Falls. Picking Ehardt would be a wise move as it would be unlikely Governor Otter would pick Mark Fuller or Rep. Bryan Zollinger as he is already a legislator for District 33. The BCRCC could use a win after losing a string of races in Bonneville County.
Rep. Janet Trujillo was serving her third term in the Idaho State Legislature before being appointed to her new role.