A Democratic Idaho lawmaker is leaving the Statehouse to serve as a commissioner in her home county, citing parenting demands and a desire to be more effective in government.
Rep. Muffy Davis, the seven-time Paralympic medalist in skiing and cycling, will become a Blaine County commissioner in January, the Idaho Press reported. Davis has served in the Idaho House since 2019, but said she had already decided not to run for reelection at the state level next year.
Gov. Brad Little announced Friday that he’s appointed Davis to the county commission to replace Commissioner Jacob Greenberg, who is stepping away from his position at the end of December; she will serve out his term, which runs through January of 2023. Little said he’ll appoint a replacement for Davis, who is from Ketchum, in the House before lawmakers convene their 2022 session in January.
Davis said her main reason for the move is that she has a young daughter, and it was difficult to leave home three months of the year for the Legislative session.
“But also, I just haven’t felt very effective there in the Legislature,” Davis said. “So I want to go somewhere where I feel like I can actually make a difference and my work can hopefully do good.”
Davis was a top-ranked U.S. Junior Team ski racer when a ski accident left her paralyzed at the age of 16. She went on to win medals at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Paralympic Games and be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame; she followed that up in 2012 with three gold medals in cycling at the Paralympic Games in London.
But Davis, who uses a wheelchair and has impaired lung function due to her injuries, was unsuccessful in January in persuading the House to suspend rules to allow her to vote remotely from a nearby office during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal was rejected on a party-line vote.
“People’s health and welfare shouldn’t be partisan,” she said at the time. “Life should be more important than that.”
The Democratic central committee for legislative District 26, which includes Blaine, Lincoln, Camas, and Gooding counties, will submit three nominees to the governor to fill Davis’ seat for the remainder of her House term, which runs through the end of 2022.