BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed a new head to the Department of Labor after his former director resigned suddenly earlier this year.

Otter announced Friday that he appointed Melinda Smyser, a former Republican state senator and southwest Idaho regional director for U.S. Sen. Jim Risch.

Smyser will begin overseeing the department Oct. 23, but she will also need official confirmation from the Idaho Senate when the Legislature convenes in January.

Smyser had been rumored as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018. However, Otter’s spokesman says Smyser told the governor she would not run for elected office while accepting his appointment.

Former Labor Director Ken Edmunds submitted his resignation in August. Otter’s office has declined to say why.

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