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Eight-term Congressman Mike Simpson, a Republican, is facing a tough primary challenge from the right. Tea Party Republican Bryan Smith wants to unseat Simpson.NPR host David Green and producer Arnie Seipel are following the race. The two say the Simpson-Smith primary could be a GOP bellwether nationally.“We started talking to a lot of the members of our political team about ‘where are the races that will help us tell this story?,’” Greene says. “The 2nd Congressional District in Idaho kept coming up."

Late Idaho Congressman Honored At Capitol Rotunda

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Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives
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Former Idaho State Historian Merle Wells (left) and former Idaho congressman (1968 - 1975) Orval Hansen (center) speaking to a younger man in the Student Union main ball room at Boise State University.

A three-term Idaho congressman laid in state at the capitol in Boise the morning of November 20 before a final sendoff later in the day.

From 1969 to 1975, Republican Orval Hansen represented Idaho’s second congressional district. The Navy veteran and Air Force reservist hailed from the small town of Firth in the eastern part of the state.

A graduate of the University of Idaho, Hansen got his start in the state legislature in the late 1950s and eventually served as Majority Leader in 1961 and 1962. After a single term in the Idaho senate, Hansen was off to congress in Washington, D.C.

While Hansen laid in state in the capitol rotunda, the Spokesman Review reports Lt. Governor Brad Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and former Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Jones were among those to pay their respects.

Following the ceremony at the capitol, Hansen’s funeral was held at the nearby St. Michael’s Cathedral downtown.

Hansen died earlier this month due to complications from lung cancer. The Idaho lawmaker is survived by his wife June, seven children, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Orval Hansen was 91 years old.

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