In November 2018, Shawn Keough retired from the Idaho State Senate after serving 22 years as the Idaho State Senator for Legislative District One which includes Bonner and Boundary Counties in northern Idaho.
First elected in 1996, Senator Keough served eleven two-year terms. Shawn is the longest serving female State Senator in Idaho’s history and the longest serving senator for her area. Senator Keough served as Co-Chair of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee and as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (the first female senator to hold this position). Senator Keough also served on the Senate Transportation Committee where she was the senior member. Some of her work included serving as Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for six years which oversees the Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations and as Co-Chair of the Legislative Interim Committee on Property Taxes in 2005. The work of the Property Tax Committee resulted in the first increase of the home owners’ exemption since its inception in the 1980s.
Senator Keough has been recognized for her work in support of education, mental health services, veterans, transportation, and natural resource issues.
Senator Keough’s legislative priorities were education, transportation, and issues that help rural Idaho. Senator Keough’s work in the area of higher education has helped to lead expansion of higher education opportunities in North Idaho including: expansion of NIC satellite campuses in Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry; expansion of online college courses; implementation of dual credit college courses for high school students; expansion of career technical programs; and, establishment of 4-year degree programs through all of Idaho’s public colleges and universities both in Coeur d’Alene and online.
As with most of Idaho’s “citizen legislators”, Shawn worked the remainder of the year in the private sector during her service in the State Senate. Currently, Shawn is the executive director for the Associated Logging Contractors an organization of independent logging and wood hauling contractors with whom she has worked since 2000. Shawn’s work experience over her course of her career is in the fields of business management and public relations.
Shawn’s main focus in life is her family. Shawn and Mike have been married over 30 years and have two grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandchildren.