Dirk Kempthorne was elected Governor of Idaho in November 1998, and was inaugurated on January 8, 1999.Health, well-educated children, safe streets, a clean environment and economic development highlighted the agenda for Idaho's Thirtieth Governor.In his State of the State address, Kempthorne outlined an aggressive reading program in the early grades.
Gov. Kempthorne was named to the National Governor's Association Executive Committee, a position rarely given to a new governor.He was also President of the Council of State Governments, an organization representing elected officials of all 50 states.
Prior to his election as Idaho's Chief Executive, Kempthorne served six years in the United States Senate.He in the 104th Congress, Kempthorne wrote, negotiated and won passage of two major pieces of legislation: a bill to end unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments and a revision of the Safe Drinking Water Act were overwhelmingly passed by both houses of Congress, and both were signed into law.
His efforts at curbing unfunded mandates earned him the following honors: The United States Conference of Mayors’ 1994 National Legislative Leadership Award; the Distinguished Service Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures; the National School Boards Association's Special Recognition Award; the Distinguished Congressional Award from the National League of Cities; the Legislator of the Year Award from the National Association of Counties and the Guardian of Freedom Award from the Council of State Governments.
While a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Kempthorne served as chairman of the Drinking Water, Fisheries and Wildlife subcommittee and played a key role in passage of federal highway funding legislation.Kempthorne served on the Armed Forces Committee, where he chaired the Personnel subcommittee, responsible for quality of life and family issues, promotions and personnel practices of our armed forces.He was a member of the United States Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, the Board of Trustees which oversees the Academy.Kempthorne was appointed served on the Helsinki Commission, a North American/European International human rights monitoring group.
Prior to his election to the United States Senate, Dirk Kempthorne served as Boise’s 43rd Mayor.He was elected to his first term in 1985, and won reelection without opposition in 1989.It marked the first time in 30 years a Boise Mayor ran unopposed in a city election.In Kempthorne's seven years as the chief executive of Idaho's capital city were highlighted by unprecedented employment, prosperity and construction, revitalization of both the infrastructure and community spirit, and national recognition for this city’s renaissance.
Kempthorne has also served as Idaho Public Affairs Manager and for the FMC Corporation; he was campaign manager for Governor Phil Batt’s 1982 gubernatorial campaign; he's been Executive Vice President of the Idaho Home Builders Association; and Executive Assistance to the Director of the Idaho Department of Lands.Dirk Kempthorne is a 1975 graduate of the University of Idaho, earning a degree in political science.He was elected Student Body President his junior year.
He is a recipient of numerous honors.In 1988 the Idaho Jaycees selected him as Outstanding Young Idahoan.That same year, the Idaho Statesman named him “Citizen of the Year.” In the Senate, Kempthorne has also been honored with the Bulldog Award by the non-partisan group Watchdogs of the Treasury for his fiscal conservativeness; the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business; the Public Service Award by the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies; the Jefferson Award from Citizens for a Sound Economy; the Legislator of the Year Award from the National Hydropower Association; and the Idaho National Guard’s top civilian honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.Dirk Kempthorne was born in 1951.He and his wife Patricia have two children, Heather and Jeff.