By Paul Carter
LDS Bishop Encouraged to Return to Idaho Politics
TWIN FALLS, IDAHO -- Randy Hansen, an LDS Bishop and owner of car
dealerships in Twin Falls, Idaho, says he will consider running again
for the District 23 seat in the Idaho legislature, when campaigning
starts in the Summer of 2002. It is the same position he relinquished
Mr. Hansen had held the seat until this past Fall. For personal
reasons, he announced in early 2000 that he would not run for
re-election. George Swan, a 50-year old cattle rancher was tapped by
the Republican committee as that party's nominee. He won in November,
and took office in December.
However, Mr. Swan had been diagnosed with terminal colon and liver
cancer soon after choosing to campaign and he died last month. Thus,
the seat has been set to be filled by gubernatorial appointment for
the past weeks.
Many members of the legislature lobbied the governor, Dirk
Kempthorne, for the return of Mr. Hansen. However, the Governor
instead acted on the recommendations of District 23's Republican
Central Committee and appointed Sharon Block to the vacant
Ms. Block has served for the past four years as President of the Twin
Falls County Republican Women and that group's members strongly urged
that she be the County Party candidate, citing her tireless work for
the party among women. A recent vote by Ms. Block against cutting the
state's planned education budget has upset some Republican
legislators, who saw the vote as not "toeing" the Republican party
line. That perception has spurred some Republicans to call on Mr.
Hansen to return to state politics.
With regard to deciding to run in the next campaign for the seat now
held by Sharon Block, Mr. Hansen has said, "I've had at least 50
calls from people telling me that I should. I will certainly put
together a committee to explore the possibility."
Politics behind Block appointment not so subtle
Twin Falls ID Times-News 15Apr01 T2
By Michael Journee: Times-News writer
Sworn In As State Legislator, LDS Man Continues Personal Battle