BOISE • Denton Darrington will retire from the Idaho Senate at the end of his term.

The Declo Republican has served in the Senate since 1982, making him its most senior member. He is currently chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee.

Darrington, 71, had considered seeking a 16th term, but the state’s new map of legislative districts placed him in the same district as Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert.

“My closest friend and colleague in the Senate, Senator Cameron, is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee,” Darrington said in a statement announcing his retirement. “Mini-Cassia cannot afford to lose him in that position.”

Cameron expressed sadness at the news.

“He has served the state and our area very well for nearly 30 years,” Cameron said. “It will be a tremendous loss to the Senate and to our area.”

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, agreed.

“Idaho’s losing a significant chunk of institutional memory there,” Bedke said. “He’s a great legislator.”

On the Senate floor Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, paid tribute to Darrington, calling him “a chairman’s chairman.” After the comments, the Senate gave Darrington a standing ovation.

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