Friday, December 21, 2007

Stallings' Sudden Resignation

In life and politics there are jumping off points. For Richard Stallings, that jumping off point came in 1982 when he jumped head first into the 2nd CD race against sitting Congressman George Hansen. He didn't win, but didn't throw in the towel. Stallings returned in 1984 to unseat Hansen. He was re-elected in 1986, 1988, and 1990. He lost a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1992 and lost in another attempt to retake his former House seat in 1998. In addition to his congressional service, Stallings served as the U.S. Nuclear Waste Negotiator, executive director of the Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Service, and Pocatello City Councilman.

Since 2005, Stallings has served as chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party. Without question, Stallings will be credited for turning the party around and now, with the announcement of his resignation, we can say he will be leaving it in much better shape than he found it.

The news of Stallings' resignation came as a huge surprise to me and I can't help but wonder what is behind this sudden decision. Earlier this month, Stallings announced his resignation from the Pocatello City Council citing his desire to travel, concentrate on his business interests, and focus on the needs of the party. In a press release from the IDP this afternoon, Stallings cites personal and professional reasons for departing.

Perhaps I cannot be objective due to my various connections with Stallings (first as his student and now as the person responsible for the preservation of his congressional papers that will opening to the public soon). However, I can say that even before I entered Stallings Idaho politics course at Idaho State University for the first time, as a young Democrat growing up in this great state I had always admired Stallings for his dedication to public service.

Obviously, I don't know what to do with this news, but I send my best wishes to Richard and Ranae and my deepest appreciation to Stallings for his leadership.

No comments :