Ehardt’s appointment sparks concerns

Otter

BOISE (AP) — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed an eastern Idaho city councilwoman to the state House despite concerns raised by local Republicans that the selection process may have contained serious flaws.

Otter announced Wednesday he selected Barbara Ehardt to replace outgoing GOP Rep. Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls, who is leaving her post to serve on the Idaho State Tax Commission.

According to emails provided by Otter’s office, the Republican governor received multiple letters from residents claiming the process used to select the three possible replacement candidates may have violated state law and Idaho Republican Party rules.

Ehardt was among three candidates submitted by the District 33 Republican Legislative Committee to complete the House term that runs until December 2018. The other two nominees were father-and-son attorneys Mark and Paul Fuller.

Otter’s spokesman says the governor’s office was aware of the concerns, but decided to appoint a replacement in order to fulfill the statutory responsibility of filling the seat before the Dec. 30 deadline.

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