Sunday, February 24, 2013

From One Larry to Another: Idaho Dems Choose New Party Chair

Posted By on Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Larry Kenck (left) took the reigns as Idaho Democratic Party Chair from Larry Grant (right)
  • George Prentice
  • Larry Kenck (left) took the reins as Idaho Democratic Party Chair from Larry Grant (right) Feb. 23.

Larry Grant tossed the keys of the Idaho Democratic Party to Larry Kenck Saturday.

"It was a unanimous decision," said Grant, the outgoing chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party.

"I had great support," said Kenck, the newly elected chairman.

In a formal vote of the party's State Central Committee Feb. 23—held at the all-day confab at the Boise Centre—Gem State Democrats chose Kenck, a Post Falls native and longtime labor organizer, to be their new chair. Kenck was a business agent with the Teamsters Union, representing north Idaho and eastern Washington, and worked around the country as a lobbyist with the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks.

"A group of folks from north Idaho told me that Larry might be interested in the job," said Grant, who announced his retirement on Jan. 31. "But he was sitting on the fence as I recall. I got his phone number and talked to him about a week and a half ago."

Kenck said Grant's call was the "tipping point" in his decision to pursue the chairmanship.

"That call really solidified my decision," Kenck told Citydesk. "I want to say that nobody suggested that Larry step down. Larry exited on his own and he did so gallantly."

Grant said many of his objectives had been met by the time he decided to step aside.

"We have an excellent staff, and for the first time that anybody can remember, we brought the party in with some money in the bank instead of a big debt," said Grant. "And looking forward to 2014, we always do better in the midterms, so I'm tickled to death with our position, and I know we can grow."

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