Idaho Democratic Caucus announces new leadership

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

The Idaho House Democratic Caucus has undergone a makeover following the resignation Dec. 6 of House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise. 

Taking his place will be Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, who steps up from her previous position as assistant House Democratic leader. With her position vacant, Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, is the new assistant leader.

Rep. Ilana Rubel.

Rubel ran for the position unopposed while McCrostie prevailed in the election over Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise. Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, rounds out the new leadership as Idaho House Democratic Caucus chair.

In a joint statement, caucus leaders stated: “Our diverse backgrounds from different careers, education and experience make all of us highly qualified to advocate for Idaho values in the Legislature. Although we have some difficult fights ahead of us, we are confident that our team is well equipped to protect the things that Idahoans hold dear: constitutional rights, education, jobs, public lands and integrity in government.

“The Idaho House Democratic leadership is looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the next session. Every session, House Democrats push forward progressive policies that will contribute to Idaho’s success, and we fight legislation that threatens our future prosperity. We expect the 2020 session to be no different.”

Erpelding had represented the deeply progressive North End Boise neighborhood since 2012, including a stint as House assistant minority leader in 2015 and rising to minority leader in 2017. Following his resignation, Erpelding announced he would take a position as vice president of government and community relations for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Despite the disproportionately Republican-leaning and often fraught partisan divide in the Legislature, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, had kind words for his former colleague in a statement:

“While I am personally happy that he has been afforded this new opportunity, I am also sorry he is leaving the House of Representatives. In his position as Minority Leader, he has proven to be an insightful and collaborative legislator. We will miss him, but we wish him every success in his new position.”

While we have you ...

... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.

You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.

Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal

You may also like...

Close [x]

Want to support independent local journalism?

The Sandpoint Reader is our town's local, independent weekly newspaper. "Independent" means that the Reader is locally owned, in a partnership between Publisher Ben Olson and Keokee Co. Publishing, the media company owned by Chris Bessler that also publishes Sandpoint Magazine and Sandpoint Online. Sandpoint Reader LLC is a completely independent business unit; no big newspaper group or corporate conglomerate or billionaire owner dictates our editorial policy. And we want the news, opinion and lifestyle stories we report to be freely available to all interested readers - so unlike many other newspapers and media websites, we have NO PAYWALL on our website. The Reader relies wholly on the support of our valued advertisers, as well as readers who voluntarily contribute. Want to ensure that local, independent journalism survives in our town? You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.