Richard Stallings has resigned as chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party. He is going to pursue other interests and opportunities, he told party members today.
"As we approach 2008, its clear that Idaho Democrats are on the cusp of great things," Stallings said. "The partys chair needs to provide full-time attention to the cause.
Stallings informed his party's leadership Thursday. Idaho Democratic Party executive director John Foster confirmed the move.
The AP has the story here
For many decades now Ive been privileged to have the opportunity to be a leader and a worker in the Idaho Democratic Party, Stallings said in a prepared release. And Ive never seen a time where the opportunities for our party are as abundant as they are right now.
Stallings will be replaced temporarily by IDP Vice-Chair Jeanne Buell, of Worley, a longtime party activist. She will serve as the acting chair until the next meeting of the central committee, which was previously scheduled for January 4.
At that meeting, nominations will be accepted and a vote will be taken for a new chair of the Idaho Democratic Party.
Because party rules dictate a gender-balanced leadership team, the next state chair will have to be a man, presuming Buell stays in the vice-chair seat.
I look forward to continuing to work with our outstanding vice-chair, Jeanne Buell, as she temporarily takes charge of our excellent staff, and I will of course assist whomever is elected to be a permanent replacement.
My lovely wife Ranae has stood by my side through my long political career, and I look forward to the two of us taking advantage of the many opportunities before us for travel and relaxation, Stallings said.
In 1982, Stallings challenged Rep. George V. Hansen, a Republican, for Idahos second congressional seat. Stallings ran again in 1984, this time defeating Hansen in a close race.
In 1992, Stallings unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate. The following year he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the U.S. Nuclear Waste Negotiator. In 1998 Stallings ran again for his old seat in the second congressional district, and lost to current Congressman Mike Simpson.
Stallings had served on the Pocatello City Council until his retirement from that group this year.
Stallings was first elected chair of the Idaho Democratic Party in March 2005, and was re-elected in March 2007. His term would have expired in 2009.
Dems are already beginning to toss around names on the blogospheroids: Over at RedStateRebels
they're talking up Brian Cronin, chairman of the Ada County Democratic Party.