Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter today announced the appointment of Jim Kempton of Albion, a former legislator and Idaho Public Utilities Commission member, to succeed Gary Blick as the Region 4 member of the Idaho Transportation Board.
Blick's term expired in January, but he has been continuing to serve pending appointment of a replacement. Kempton's term will begin March 1 and continue to January 31, 2018. He will represent Region 4, including the Magic and Wood River valleys. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Kempton is a Twin Falls native, former rancher, University of Idaho graduate and a decorated Air Force fighter pilot who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. The former six-term member of the Idaho House of Representatives also previously was an assistant professor of physics at the Air Force Academy, and a Pentagon liaison between the secretary of Commerce and the secretary of Defense.
Kempton's service in State government includes almost seven years as one of Idaho's two members of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and almost four years as a member of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission -- including two years as its president. He also was chairman of the House Transportation and Defense Committee in the Legislature, as well as chairman of the Forum on Transportation Investment and a member of the Governor's Task Force on Transportation Investment.
"You're just not going to get any smarter, better informed or committed to public service than Jim Kempton," Governor Otter said. "I'm pleased that Jim has agreed to continue making an important contribution as we seek to address a growing backlog of maintenance and improvement needs on our highways and bridges, and as we work to continue realigning scarce resources, improving operations and building a reputation for excellence at the Idaho Transportation Department."
Kempton and his wife Susan have two grown daughters.