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We Did Know Jack


Spud magnate. Tater tycoon. Guy who owns that big house up there. J.R. Simplot was all that and more. Trying to come up with a timely statement about the passing of Idaho's famous billionaire wasn't easy.

Simplot, the toughest of old birds, died last Sunday of natural causes. He was 99.

And while local media might have seen this coming when he knocked his noggin a year ago, falling out of his motorized cart, local politicians reacted to his passage with varying speed. First and fastest? His former son-in-law, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. Second in the sweepstakes? U.S. Rep. Bill Sali, a Republican. Right behind him? The Democrat who hopes to take him out in November, Walt Minnick.

Last to arrive in our in-box was Boise State president Bob Kustra, on Tuesday. He was beaten by former Gov. Jim Risch by minutes.