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Sue Chew, Idaho's longest-serving democratic legislator, has died

Sue Chew
Posted at 10:24 AM, Apr 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 14:53:53-04

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's longest-serving Democratic Representative, Sue Chew, passed away at age 66 from pancreatic cancer.

Chew was first elected in 2006 and represented District 17 as seat B for 18 years, she was serving her 8th term.

“Sue Chew was known for her moral clarity and huge heart for the people at risk of being left behind. She was deeply committed to inclusive representation and was a tireless door-knocker, always keeping in touch with her constituents and their needs. The Idaho Democratic Party grieves alongside the many people Rep. Chew touched across her career, including advocates for health care, labor, disability rights, and civil rights. We will do our best to pick up the torch she carried and continue building a state with justice for every Idahoan.”
Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea

Idaho News 6 interviewed Chew back in 2018 when the lawmaker was working to pass legislation to lower the number of deadly overdoses in Idaho.

RELATED | Bill aiming to lower number of deadly overdoses in Idaho advances inside the statehouse

Chew was an outspoken supporter of the fight against pancreatic cancer, fundraising with PanCan to fight the illness. The PanCan Purple Stride event to fight pancreatic cancer is on Saturday, April 27.

On Thursday, Governor Brad Little ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday, April 19 in honor of Representative Chew.

In a statement, Governor Little praised her passion and dedication, calling her "a strong ally on a variety of healthcare policy issues, [who] will be deeply missed by her community, colleagues in government, and many loved ones."

Randy Johnson, with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued a statement saying, "Rep. Chew’s faith and professional background as a pharmacist and educator made her a champion of all people, especially when it came to equal and fair access to health care to all who call Idaho home. Her passion and thoughtful questioning of the status quo will be missed."