- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Longtime Idaho state Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis was nominated Thursday by the administration of President Donald Trump to serve as the new U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho.

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch announced the nomination on Twitter.

Risch in a statement sent to The Associated Press called the Republican Davis “a committed public servant who has my full confidence” and said he would work with other senators to confirm Davis quickly.

Davis is a 10-term state senator from Idaho Falls with a private legal practice focusing on corporate litigation, bankruptcy and real estate law. He’s served as the state Senate majority leader for 15 years.

Davis’ experience in the Statehouse has allowed him to serve as a stabilizing force within the Idaho Senate, often wielding the rules of parliamentary procedure to keep political antics from getting out of hand. If he is confirmed, members the state senate will have to elect a new majority leader.

“You don’t lose a senior senator without losing institutional knowledge. We are going to miss that. Plus, everyone has to admit Bart Davis has his own unique leadership style. It’s a mindset hard to replicate,” said Idaho Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, a Republican.

Davis in the Senate often prefaced his remarks with, “I’m just a simple country lawyer,” playing off fictional lawyer stereotypes like Atticus Finch in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” that was made into a movie starring Gregory Peck and Andy Griffith’s Ben Matlock character in the eponymous 1980’s television show, Matlock.

Davis declined to comment, saying he had been asked to refer any inquiries to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Idaho attorney was one of nine U.S. Attorney nominees announced by the White House on Thursday.

The previous U.S. Attorney for Idaho, Wendy Olson, resigned in February and joined a Boise law firm. Olson’s first assistant U.S. attorney Rafael Gonzalez has served as acting U.S. attorney since Olson’s departure.

Olson served in the U.S. Department of Justice for about 24 years and was appointed to be U.S. Attorney for Idaho by former President Barack Obama in 2010.

She said earlier this year she expected President Donald Trump would appoint someone else and stepped down.


Associated Press reporter Kimberlee Kruesi contributed to this report from Boise.

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