BOISE – Jim Kempton, who has served the eight south-central Idaho counties as the District 4 representative on the Idaho Transportation Board since March 2012, is set to retire at the end of the month. At nearly 12 years of service, Kempton is the longest-serving board member. He succeeded Gary Blick as the District 4 representative.
A native of Albion, Kempton is a graduate of the University of Idaho. Kempton was a decorated Air Force fighter pilot who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Kempton served five terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, including as the chairman of the House Transportation and Defense Committee.
Kempton also represented Idaho for seven years on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, was a former member of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission – including two years as its president — and served as assistant professor of physics at the Air Force Academy. He also was liaison between the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.
He chaired the Forum on Transportation Investment during his time on the board, and was a key member of former Governor Otter’s Task Force on Transportation Investment.
At Kempton’s appointment in February 2012, Governor Otter said, “You’re just not going to get any smarter, better informed or committed to public service than Jim Kempton.” During his 11 years on the transportation board, Kempton proved that to be true time after time.
“Jim’s commitment to Idaho and its citizens is unrivaled,” said Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad. “It’s evident his time in the Idaho Legislature and with the Public Utilities Commission has been invaluable as he helped guide us on critical issues addressing growth and investment in transportation. I personally will miss the wit and wisdom that was apparent in the support he gave me and the other board members.”
Julie DeLorenzo, who started on the board just a month after Kempton, becomes the longest-tenured member when Kempton steps down.