Idaho House minority leader announces resignation

FILE--In this Jan. 6, 2017, file photo, Idaho House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, speaks to reporters about the upcoming 2017 legislative session at the State Capitol in Boise, Idaho. Like many states, Idaho doesn't have resign-to-run laws preventing office holders from dedicating time and resources to campaign for another position. Erpelding and other Idaho state officials are asking U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador to leave Congress while he campaigns for the Idaho governor's seat. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger, file)

BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Idaho House Democratic leader announced his resignation Tuesday morning.

District 19 Rep. Mat Erpelding posted a letter resignation on his campaign website. His last day is Friday. Erpelding has served as an Idaho Legislature representative for seven years and has taken a job with the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, where he said he will “continue advocating for Idaho’s core economic needs.”

He said his resignation is a career move and for his family’s future.

“I want to thank all of my legislative colleagues for the opportunity to serve with each of you,” he said in the letter. “During my legislative career, I forged unexpected and lifelong friendships with many of you, even as we debated deeply divisive and challenging issues. I firmly believe the legislature is an 'arena of ideas' presented by leaders with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs. And, that is what makes our system of government so unique and incredible.”

Democrats will offer three possible replacements for Republican Gov. Brad Little to choose from to serve the rest of Erpelding's term in the next legislative session that begins in January, according to the Associated Press

Erpelding wishes his legislative colleagues to increase bipartisan efforts “rather than kowtow to the extreme views advocated on both ends of the spectrum.”

Erpleding plans to donate his remaining campaign funds to Next Generation Leadership Idaho.

Speaker of the House Scott Bedke issued a statement congratulation Erpelding on his new appointment as vice president of government affairs for that chamber of commerce.

“While I am personally happy that he has been afforded this new opportunity, I am also sorry he is leaving the House of Representatives,” Bedke said. “In his position as Minority Leader, he has proven to be an insightful and collaborative legislator.”

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