Jim Risch: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James E. Risch

Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Serving with Mike Crapo
Preceded by Larry Craig

In office
May 26, 2006 – January 1, 2007
Lieutenant None (May–June 2006)
Mark Ricks (2006–2007)
Preceded by Dirk Kempthorne
Succeeded by Butch Otter

In office
January 1, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Governor Butch Otter
Preceded by Mark Ricks
Succeeded by Brad Little
In office
January 3, 2003 – May 26, 2006
Governor Dirk Kempthorne
Preceded by Jack Riggs
Succeeded by Mark Ricks

In office
In office

Born May 3, 1943 (1943-05-03) (age 66)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Vicki Risch
Residence Boise
Alma mater University of Idaho
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

James Elroy "Jim" Risch (born May 3, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Idaho and served as the 31st Governor of Idaho. Risch was elected to the Senate in 2008, defeating former Democratic Congressman Larry LaRocco and several independents.[1]

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 was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee from 1961-1963, then transferred to 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 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 could possibly be appointed United States Senator by 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."[2] On October 9, Risch announced that he would run for the now open senate seat.[3] In May 2008, Risch was selected as the Republican nominee for Craig's open seat in the U.S. Senate. He defeated Larry LaRocco, a former Democratic congressman, with 58% of the vote. Risch defeated LaRocco in two previous elections: for a state senate seat in 1986 and for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Risch is one of four freshmen Republican Senators in the 111th Congress. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, George LeMieux of Florida and Scott Brown of Massachusetts are the others.

U.S. Senate

Risch resigned as lieutenant governor to take his seat in the Senate on January 3, 2009. Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter named state Sen. Brad Little of Emmett as his replacement


Committee assignments


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Riggs
Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
January 6, 2003 – May 26, 2006
Succeeded by
Mark Ricks
Preceded by
Dirk Kempthorne
Governor of Idaho
May 26, 2006 – January 1, 2007
Succeeded by
C.L. Otter
Preceded by
Mark Ricks
Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
January 1, 2007 – January 6, 2009
Succeeded by
Brad Little
United States Senate
Preceded by
Larry Craig
United States Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
January 3, 2009 – present
Served alongside: Mike Crapo
Party political offices
Preceded by
Larry Craig
Republican Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
2008 (won)
Succeeded by
(2014 nominee)
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Mark Warner
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Kay Hagan
(D-North Carolina)


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jim Risch (born 3 May, 1943) is a former Governor of Idaho.


  • [On the victims of the hurricane Katrina] "Here in Idaho, we couldn't understand how people could sit around on the kerbs waiting for the federal government to come and do something. We had a dam break in 1976, but we didn't whine about it. We got out our backhoes and we rebuilt the roads and replanted the fields and got on with our lives. That's the culture here. Not waiting for the federal government to bring you drinking water. In Idaho there would have been entrepreneurs selling the drinking water."
    • Quoted in Guardian, August 31, 2007. [1]

External links

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