(UPDATED 11:44am to correct details of Jeanne Buell’s term)
Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck will resign on May 29.
In his resignation letter, Kenck cited his health as the reason he is stepping down. Kenck was re-elected for his second term as chairman in March.
Vice chair Jeanne Buell will serve until June 13, when the state central committee votes for a new chairman.
Here’s the full press release, with Kenck’s resignation letter:
For Immediate Release
Date: May 26, 2015
Contact: Dean A. Ferguson at 208-790-4530
IDP Chairman To Resign; Acting Chair Jeanne Buell
Boise, Idaho—Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck will resign as of May 29, 2015. IDP Vice Chair Jeanne Buell will be acting-Chair until June 13, when the state central committee votes for a new chair. The new chair will serve the remainder of Kenck’s term, which ends 2017.
Note: The State Central Committee is made of county chairs, legislative district chairs and a committee-man and -woman from each county.
Because of national Democratic rules, if the party has a male chair, then the party must have a female vice chair—or conversely, a female chair requires a male vice chair. So, the new chair will be a male. Buell will head the search for Kenck’s replacement.
Kenck, who never slowed after his retirement, has encountered medical issues that require him to focus on regaining his health. In his resignation letter emailed to party members on May 23, Kenck wrote that the party needs a chairman who can focus his energy on being chairman:
“… Sadly, health issues have come up that I must deal with. The path we are on requires an active Chairman that is not dealing with these issues. There is too much work and too many duties that need to be done, now. That is why I must resign my position as Party Chair. No regrets – and no sadness. What we have started is only the beginning and will continue on under the talented leaders within the Party. …”
Jeanne Buell supports Kenck’s decision but is disappointed to see him step down:
“Larry has been a true friend to Idaho Democrats and he has helped lead our party into a time of renewal, a time of growth, and a time of momentum. I know that our party has a lot of talent out there and that we will find a chairman who shares Larry’s vision of a better, balanced Idaho.”
IDP Chair Larry Kenck’s resignation letter:
Dear Democratic leaders and friends,
Holding the position of Chairman of the Idaho State Democratic Party has been a great experience. Meeting each of you, talking with you, traveling the state to reach out to new Idaho Democrats, enjoying your support and your enthusiasm has been a milestone in my life. Nearly three years ago, you trusted me and stood with me to bring balance to Idaho. I asked you to get off the sidelines and to get vocal, and you did all of that and more. Together, we started down this new road that is reshaping Idaho’s political landscape. Together, we have accomplished more than I thought possible. You made me proud to be Chairman on this Party.
Sadly, health issues have come up that I must deal with. The path we are on requires an active Chairman that is not dealing with these issues. There is too much work and too many duties that need to be done, now. That is why I must resign my position as Party Chair. No regrets – and no sadness. What we have started is only the beginning and will continue on under the talented leaders within the Party. I will remain involved, but not as Chairman. Our Vice Chair, Jeanne Buell, will be acting-Chair until the State Central Committee meeting June 13th, when a new Chairman will be elected to serve the last part of my term.
I am stepping down May 29, 2015, knowing that all the structures and programs are in place and we have the officers and the staff to continue to bring balance to Idaho. I ask that you show them the respect and support that you have given me. We must continue to grow, to train, and to stand together– speaking out for what is right and what is just. That is the Idaho Democrat’s way.
Thank you again and know that I respect each and every one of you. Thank you for this amazing experience.
Respectfully and in solidarity,
Larry Kenck, Chairman Idaho Democratic Party