Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cancer doesn’t keep Stennett down

Senator preparing for winter Legislative session

Express Staff Writer

Clint Stennett

For Idaho Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, 2008 was anything but routine.

Early in the legislative session last January, Stennett, a Ketchum Democrat, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and immediately underwent surgery. Only a few weeks later he returned to the Legislature and finished out the session while enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

"It's definitely been a wild year, hasn't it?" he said Tuesday morning.

Nevertheless, Stennett is returning to work in Boise this winter. He is running unopposed in the November general election to reclaim his seat and said he looks forward to getting back to work.

"I'll be over there and ready to go. I'm doing fine," he said. "The MRIs have been stable, and so far everybody's pleased with how well it's going, including me."

Stennett still travels to San Francisco once a month for a clinical trial of a brain cancer treatment. He also takes orally administered chemotherapy pills five days per month.

"That one kicks my butt a bit, and it takes a few days of getting used to it, and then I'm OK," he said.

Stennett said he is ready to lead the caucus again this winter, and he added that he is excited at the prospect that Democrats could pick up as many as seven seats in the Senate this year.

"I feel very comfortable about picking some seats up in North Idaho," he said. "We've got good, solid candidates in those districts. They're out working hard and doing what they need to do to turn those districts around."

Stennett said he hopes to work on similar issues to his past efforts in Boise this winter.

"But hopefully I'm going to move the ball further. I really want to bring stuff out about climate change, environmental stuff and water use, things that are important to me and my constituents."

He said it is not probable, but doable, to accomplish some of Democrats' progressive agenda if more Democrats are elected.

"In order to fill out the committees a little stronger, that will make a difference in how our progressive legislation is perceived," he said.

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