Second newcomer joins House Ed

For the second time in this young session, a new lawmaker has landed on the House Education Committee.

Rep. Patrick McDonald
Rep. Patrick McDonald participates in Thursday’s House Education Committee meeting.

Rep. Cindy Agidius, R-Moscow, left the committee this week and was replaced by newly appointed Boise Republican Rep. Patrick McDonald.

On Tuesday, Gov. Butch Otter appointed McDonald to fill the vacancy created when former Rep. Mark Patterson vacated his seat. McDonald is a 67-year-old former U.S. Marshal and 33-year veteran of the Idaho State Police, where he ultimately served as regional patrol commander.

Agidius has taken a spot on another House committee.

McDonald’s first meeting was Wednesday’s joint session of the House and Senate education committees.

“We’re thrilled to have (McDonald) and we’re going to obviously miss Representative Agidius,” DeMordaunt said. “(McDonald’s) going to get to drink from the firehose, but it’s always nice to have a fresh perspective from the committee.”

The session began Jan. 6 with education issues quickly emerging as the year’s top priorities.

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Earlier this month, Rep. Illana Rubel, D-Boise, joined the House Education Committee, taking the open spot created when Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking moved to the Senate to succeed Branden Durst. Durst stepped down from the Senate on Dec. 1.

Here is Otter’s announcement:

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Patrick McDonald of Boise to fill the District 15 Idaho House of Representatives vacancy left by the resignation of Representative Mark Patterson.

McDonald was among three nominees submitted to the Governor last Friday by the District 15 Republican Legislative Committee. The former U.S. marshal and Idaho State Police officer will serve out the remainder of Patterson’s term and will seek the Republican nomination to run for the seat in his own right in the May 20 primary election.

The other nominees were Rod Beck and Sam Hoagland.

“The citizens of District 15 deserve the chance for continuity and someone of unquestioned integrity representing them in the Idaho House. Pat McDonald ably provides those qualities, as well as a lifetime of service and a focus on the public’s safety and wellbeing,” Governor Otter said. “It’s important that he wants to keep serving in the Legislature beyond this term. More importantly, I trust him to serve District 15 and all of Idaho with character, honesty, and great distinction.”

McDonald, 67, was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Burley. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Idaho State University and was a member of the Idaho State Police for 33 years – rising through the ranks from trooper to captain and regional patrol commander. McDonald was U.S. Marshal for Idaho during the George W. Bush administration. He and his wife, Sarah Jane, have three sons.