Dirk Kempthorne

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Dirk Kempthorne
US Secretary of the Interior
Image:DirkKempthorne.jpg
Party Republican
Assumed office

May 26, 2006 - present

Served under George W. Bush
Preceded by Gale Ann Norton
Succeeded by Ken Salazar
Born October 29, 1951
Spouse unknown
Religion Methodist

Dirk Arthur Kempthorne (born October 29, 1951 in San Diego, California), is the former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, serving since May 2006. A Republican, Kempthorne previously served as Governor and as a U.S. Senator from Idaho.

Kempthorne was first elected to public office as mayor of Boise in 1985, where he served for seven years. Kempthorne is notable for his conservative views, particularly on economic issues.

Contents

Background

Kempthorne was raised in San Bernardino, California. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1975 with a degree in political science, serving a term as student body president. Upon graduation Kempthorne served as an assistant to the director of the Idaho Department of Lands and then as executive vice president of the Idaho Home Builders Association.

In 1982, Kempthorne managed the gubernatorial campaign for Lt. Gov. Phil Batt, who lost to the incumbent Democrat, Governor John V. Evans.[1] In 1983 Kempthorne became state public affairs manager for FMC Corporation a chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, began spinning several of its divisions into separate companies, including United Defense and FMC Technologies.

Political career

Idaho

Kempthorne's first major political victory was in 1985 when he was elected mayor of Boise. As mayor Kempthorne became very popular and was unopposed for reelection in 1989.

In 1992, U.S. Senator Steve Symms decided not to seek a third term and Kempthorne pursued the Republican nomination for the seat. In the general election, Kempthorne defeated Democratic Congressman Richard H. Stallings. In the Senate, Kempthorne sponsored and helped pass a bill meant to prevent Congress from passing so-called "unfunded federal mandates" on states.

Kempthorne was expected to run for reelection in 1998, but instead decided to run for the open seat for governor. The incumbent, Phil Batt, finally elected in 1994, shocked the state by announcing his retirement after only one term in office. Kempthorne's Senate seat would be won by Republican Mike Crapo.

Kempthorne won the gubernatorial election in a landslide, receiving 68 percent of the vote while his Democratic opponent, Robert Huntley, received only 29 percent. He was reelected in 2002 with 56 percent of the vote, compared to his Democratic opponent, Jerry Brady, who polled 42 percent. Kempthorne's campaign spent nearly $200,000 more than it had received in contributions prior to the election; he spent the next two years raising funds to pay off the campaign debt.[2]

Secretary of the Interior

On March 16, 2006, Kempthorne was nominated by President George W. Bush to replace Gale Norton as the 49th Secretary of the Interior. On May 10, 2006, Kempthorne's nomination was approved by voice vote by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He was confirmed by the full Senate on May 26, 2006 and resigned as governor to accept the position the same day. Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch succeeded Kempthorne as governor, filling out remaining months of the term.

Kempthorne is the second Idahoan to hold the Cabinet post. Former Governor Cecil Andrus was the Secretary of the Interior under President Jimmy Carter, serving from 1977-1981.

Governmental Experience

  • Mayor, Boise Idaho
  • Senator of Idaho (class III), 19931999
  • Governor of Idaho, January, 1999 – May, 2006
  • United States Secretary of the Interior, June 7, 2006 – December 2008

Affiliations


Resources

See Also

Contact

Mailing Address
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Phone: 202-208-3100
E-Mail: webteam@ios.doi.gov

References

External Links

  • Department of the Interior website Sec. Kempthorne's biography
  • The White House.gov Cabinet: Interior: Kempthorne

Related areas

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