Two more high-profile Democratic legislators are stepping away from the Idaho State Senate.
After five terms at the Statehouse, Pocatello Sen. Edgar Malepeai, the upper chamber's minority leader, announced today that he will not run for re-election.
"I have cherished my time in the Idaho Senate," said Malepeai, who expressed sadness over the lack of protection for sexual orientation and gender identity in the existing state Human Rights Act. Malepeai asked fellow members of the Senate State Affairs Committee to consider the Add the Words measure, but to no avail.
"I wanted very much to allow my fellow Idahoans who experience discrimination simply for being themselves to have a chance to bring their stories into this building so that others might understand the overwhelming need to extend the basic protections too many of us take for granted," he said.
Additionally, Pocatello's Diane Bilyeu announced today that she would not seek re-election after three terms in the Senate. A member of the Joint Finance-Appropriations, Local Government and Taxation, and Transportation committees, Bilyeu first served as a senator from 1968 to 1970 and again from 2006 to this year.
Bilyeu has also just finished her second book, A Conversation With Shakespeare, which is set to be published later this year.