IDAHO FALLS — After 13 years in the Idaho legislator, this local senator says it’s time to let someone else serve.
Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, announced this week that he will not seek reelection. At 68-years-old, Mortimer said he would like to spend more time with his family.
“I believe that there is a time and place in which it’s time to let someone else serve. I’m at that time,” Mortimer told EastIdahoNews.com. “I’m looking forward to having someone else have the same opportunity and blessings that I’ve had from serving in such a wonderful position.”
Mortimer began his service in the Idaho legislature in 2006 when he was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives. He served in the House until he was elected to the Senate in District 32 in 2008. In 2012 he was elected in District 30, where he has served ever since.
“I’ve met so many wonderful people and learned so many great things,” Mortimer said.
Idaho Falls District 30 Rep. Wendy Horman said Mortimer has served Bonneville County voters well.
“His expertise and experience will be missed. He is a hard-working Legislator that has never been afraid to dig deeply into the details of an issue,” Horman told EastIdahoNews.com.
Throughout his entire time in the Idaho legislature, Mortimer has served on the Education Committee in the House and Senate. He served as the vice-chairman of the committee for six years and is currently in his sixth year as the committee chairman.
“Education was a passion of my mother’s and one that I saw really needed some effort and one that I really wanted to become involved in,” he said.
He said some of his most significant accomplishments in the legislature came from serving on the Education Committee. In that capacity, he helped turn Eastern Idaho Technical College into the College of Eastern Idaho.
“Converting the technical college to a community college was another one of the highlights,” Mortimer said.
Mortimer said he wants whoever ends up taking his place to make sure to learn as much as they can.
“Learn everything that you can and don’t make rash decisions. Make sure that you get to the bottom of the issues before you make or commit to how you will vote on an issue. And then, be very involved with your constituents,” he said.
Mortimer said he is most looking forward to spending time with his family.
“When you’ve served for as long as I’ve served and you recognize the amount of time that you spend away from your family and my grandchildren. I’m looking forward to spending more time with both my wife, my children and my grandchildren,” he said.
Mortimer’s final term runs through December 2020. He will continue to serve as the Senate Education Committee chairman through the 2020 legislative session.
“I look forward to working with him in the 2020 Legislative session to do good things for Idaho students,” Horman said.