Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ketchum man eyes Jaquet’s House seat

John Remington, former school administrator, to run in 2012

Express Staff Writer

John Remington, former athletic administrator for the Community School in Sun Valley, said he plans to run for the Legislature in 2012. If elected, Remington would fill the seat left vacant by current Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. Photo by Roland Lane

A former Community School athletic administrator announced last week that he will run for the Legislature in 2012, making him the first candidate to officially throw his hat into the ring.

John Remington, a Ketchum resident and the athletic director for the Community School for 24 years, said he would run for the seat left vacant by current Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, who is retiring from office.

Remington was also a history teacher, and said in a prepared statement on Monday that he is running because of his interest in government and local affairs.

"I have always been interested in public service and government," he said. "I have spent the past few months taking a close look at my life...[and] I have come to the conclusion that I have the qualities, characteristics, experience and knowledge base to be a representative."

Remington said in an interview this week that he has been thinking of running for almost a year, since he lost his job during Community School staff reductions last September. Since then, he said he has informally polled friends across District 25 who showed enthusiasm at the idea of his campaign.

"They're just happy to see me [running]," he said. "They're relieved to have someone they know who can win this. I've had just super-awesome feedback."

Remington said he's built name recognition across District 25 and beyond during his 24 years as athletic administrator. In his previous position, he dealt with administrators throughout the state's athletic District 4, which stretches into Twin Falls and Jerome, he said, farther afield than the political district he'd represent.

Remington has a wide breadth of experience in Ketchum, as a founding member of the Ketchum-Sun Valley Historical Society and co-founder of the Community School's Sun Valley Ski Academy.

Before moving to Ketchum, Remington worked as a substitute teacher and bartender at an upscale restaurant in Aspen, Colo.

Remington and his wife, Rita, have two children—Alden, 23, and Miles, a Wood River High School ninth-grader. Remington said that even though his family is important to him, he feels he can balance work and his personal life.

"That was a concern," he admitted in an interview, adding that if elected, he plans on visiting home on weekends during the legislative session and bringing his wife and son to Boise on occasion. Remington said he consulted his wife on the matter, but that she's accustomed to his dedicated work schedule.

"She's used to me being gone," he said with a smile. "I already had an occupation like that. I worked many evenings and many weekends."

That work schedule is the reason he hasn't run for political office before, he said, as athletic competitions took him out of town and ate up his free time.

"I just couldn't commit to anything," he said.

But since his position was eliminated, Remington said, he's been avidly following the legislative sessions and plans on following in the footsteps of current Reps. Jaquet and Donna Pence, D-Gooding, and Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum. He said the legislators have inspired public trust and confidence from constituents.

"I don't want people to think things will change because there is a new guy in office," he said, adding that the legislators have always responded quickly to voter concerns, and he would do the same if elected.

"That's key if you want to help people," he said.

Remington said he plans to attend this year's Democratic pre-legislative briefing session in Boise in early January and possibly attend the Legislature's opening day on Jan. 9. He has no competitors in the Democratic primary so far, though County Commissioner Larry Schoen has said he is "seriously considering" running for the Legislature in 2012.

Katherine Wutz:

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