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Rep. Elaine Smith announces retirement, endorses Pocatello lawyer James Ruchti

Pocatello

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POCATELLO (KPVI) — After nearly 20 years serving in state government, Idaho District 29 Rep. Elaine Smith announced her retirement today.

On Saturday, people packed into a conference room at Station Square in Old Town Pocatello to listen to the representative’s announcement.

The Pocatello Democrat is in her 10th term and 19th year in public service having served as both a representative in District 29 and 30. She is also currently serving as the House Minority Caucus Chairwoman.

To the crowded room she announced that at the end of her term this November she would retire from office. She then formally endorsed former representative James Ruchti of Pocatello to fill the District 29 seat she’ll be leaving.

Those in attendance applauded this part of the announcement.

“We’re going to knock on hundreds and hundreds of doors. We’re going to have thousands of conversations with voters, community members. I want to know what’s on your mind,” James Ruchti says. “We’re going to officially launch the campaign in March after we’re able to officially register to run.”

Although Ruchti cannot register to run until March, he says he wanted to get out early because there is a lot of work to do and he wants to make sure that he and his team “do this campaign right.”

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