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Jim McClure
United States Senator
from Idaho
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1991
Preceded by Len Jordan
Succeeded by Larry Craig
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Idaho's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by Compton I. White, Jr.
Succeeded by Steve Symms
Personal details
Born (1924-12-27)December 27, 1924
Payette, Idaho
Died February 26, 2011(2011-02-26) (aged 86)
Boise, Idaho
Nationality United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Louise M. Miller[1] McClure
(b. 1928)
(m.1950–2011, his death)
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter
Residence Payette
Alma mater U. of Idaho - So. Branch
U. of Idaho, J.D. 1950
Profession Attorney
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch U.S. Navy
Years of service 1942–1946
Battles/wars World War II

James Albertus "Jim" McClure (December 27, 1924 – February 26, 2011) was an American politician from the state of Idaho, most notably serving as a Republican in the U.S. Senate for three terms.

Early years[edit]

McClure attended public schools in Payette and joined the U.S. Navy at age 18 during World War II, and served from 1942 to 1946. McClure graduated from the Navy Program at the University of Idaho-Southern Branch (now Idaho State University) in Pocatello in 1943. After his discharge from the Navy, he entered the College of Law at the University of Idaho in Moscow, and graduated in 1950.

Early career[edit]

From 1950 to 1956, he served as prosecuting attorney for Payette County; he also served as city attorney for Payette from 1953 to 1966. During this span, he was also a member of the Idaho State Senate, serving from 1961 to 1966.

In the 1966 election, McClure ran for the U.S. House from Idaho's first Congressional district. He won the race, defeating incumbent Compton I. White, Jr., and was reelected in 1968 and 1970.

U.S. Senate[edit]

McClure ran for the open U.S. Senate seat (Class II) in 1972, vacated by the retirement of Len Jordan. In the general election he defeated the Democratic nominee, William E. "Bud" Davis, the president of Idaho State University. McClure was reelected by wide margins in 1978 and 1984. The seat was occupied by William Borah for over three decades (1907–1940), and has been continuously held by Republicans since 1949, over 66 years.

In 1981, McClure joined Republican colleagues Jesse Helms of North Carolina and fellow Idaho senator Steve Symms in an unsuccessful fight to return to a purchase requirement for participation in the food stamp program. Helms cited a Congressional Budget Office study which showed that 75 percent of the increase in food stamp usage had occurred since the purchase requirement was dropped in 1977. Senators voted 33 to 66 against the Helms-McClure position. "It's obvious the majority of the Senate is not really concerned about constraining the growth of the food-stamp program," McClure said.[2][3]

In 1984 McClure ran for Senate Majority Leader, but was defeated by Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, who three years earlier had led the intraparty opposition to the Helms-McClure position on reinstating the purchase requirement for food stamps.

During his 18 years in the Senate, McClure served as the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from 1981 to 1987. In this capacity McClure emerged as an early proponent of electric cars and energy independence. He also chaired of the Senate Republican Conference from 1981 to 1985.

Election results[edit]

U.S. House elections (Idaho's 1st district): Results 1966–1970
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
  1966   Compton I. White, Jr. (inc.) 65,446 48.2% Jim McClure 70,410 51.8%
1968 Compton I. White, Jr. 62,002 40.6% Jim McClure (inc.) 90,870 59.4%
1970 William Brauner 55,743 41.8% Jim McClure (inc.) 77,513 58.2%

U.S. Senate elections in Idaho (Class II): Results 1972–1984
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
  1972   William E. "Bud" Davis 140,913 45.5% Jim McClure 161,804 52.3% Jean L. Stafford American 6,885 2.2%
  1978   Dwight Jensen 89,635 31.6% Jim McClure (inc.) 194,412 68.4%
1984 Pete Busch 105,591 26.0% Jim McClure (inc.) 293,193 72.2% David B. Billings Libertarian 7,384 1.8%


At age 65, McClure declined to run for a fourth term in 1990. Republican congressman Larry Craig of Midvale easily won McClure's Senate seat in November 1990 and served three terms, succeeded by Jim Risch.

After leaving the Senate, McClure became a mining consultant and lobbyist in Washington, D.C., founding the firm of McClure, Gerard, & Neuenschwander. Up until his death McClure maintained a residence in McCall.

In October 1995, the new home of the College of Mines and Earth Resources at the University of Idaho was dedicated as James A. McClure Hall.[4][5] On December 12, 2001, the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Boise was renamed for McClure. [6]


In December 2008, the 83-year-old McClure suffered a stroke and was sent to the intensive care unit at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Although initially he was expected to recover,[7] McClure died at the age of 86 on February 26, 2011.[8][9][10]



  1. ^ "Seniors". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1950. p. 286. 
  2. ^ Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, June 13, 1981, p. 1032
  3. ^ Billy Hathorn, "The Iron Triangle in Action: The Federal Food Stamp Program", National Social Science Journal, Vol 12, No. 2 (1999), p. 54
  4. ^ Laboe, Barbara (October 21, 1995). "New UI mines building dedicated to James McClure". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. p. 1A. 
  5. ^ "McClure Hall dedicated at UI". Lewiston Morning Tribune. October 21, 1995. p. 6A. 
  6. ^ "Federal courthouse named after McClure". Spokesman-Review. December 13, 2001. p. B3. 
  7. ^ McClure suffers stroke; doctors are hopeful, son says
  8. ^ Boone, Rebecca (February 28, 2011). "Idaho had ‘great statesman’ in McClure". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ Popkey, Dan (February 27, 2011). "Former Sen. Jim McClure dies at age 86". Spokesman-Review. (from Idaho Statesman). Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ Brown, Emma (February 28, 2011). "James A. McClure dies: Three-term U.S. senator from Idaho was 86". Washington Post. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Compton I. White, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho's 1st congressional district

January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Succeeded by
Steve Symms
United States Senate
Preceded by
Len Jordan
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1991
Served alongside: Frank Church, Steve Symms
Succeeded by
Larry Craig
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry M. Jackson
Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Succeeded by
J. Bennett Johnston
Party political offices
Preceded by
Len Jordan
Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Idaho
1972, 1978, 1984
Succeeded by
Larry Craig
Preceded by
Bob Packwood
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
John Chafee

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._McClure — Please support Wikipedia.
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121 news items

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 02 Mar 2011 19:00:00 -0800

James A. McClure, a three-term Republican senator from Idaho who epitomized the rugged, independent thinking of Western politicians who used new leadership positions in the 1980s to transform their “sagebrush rebellion” into conservative legislation ...
Center for Biological Diversity (press release)
Thu, 22 Oct 2015 09:41:15 -0700

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday before Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the James A. McClure United States Courthouse in Boise, Idaho. Plaintiffs include the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Friends of the ...
Sat, 19 Dec 2015 19:45:37 -0800

6, 1997, in Rockland. She will change her name to Erin M. Walsh. Stacey E. McClure of Rockport and James A. McClure of Rockport, married March 18, 2004, in Warren. Melinda L. Prophet of Camden and Rocki T. Prophet of Hope, married Jan. 17, 2002, in ...

The Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Statesman
Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:36:20 -0700

Lucoff has asked that a screen be placed to keep the two witnesses from being seen by observers sitting in the public section of the courtroom inside the James A. McClure Federal Building. Jurors, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Kurbanov and U.S ...

Twin Falls Times-News

Twin Falls Times-News
Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:20:21 -0700

The bill would set aside three new wilderness areas totaling 275,665 acres in the Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness (67,998 acres); the White Clouds Wilderness (90,769 acres); and the James A. McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness (116,898). It also releases from ...


Wed, 06 May 2015 13:26:15 -0700

But nearly two-thirds of IRS employees who were willfully tax noncompliant between 2004 and 2013 and were supposed to have lost their jobs received a reprieve from the IRS commissioner, according to a newly released report from the IRS' auditor. Some ...


Tue, 21 Apr 2015 02:04:13 -0700

PITTSBURGH — Taxpayers are on the hook for billions each year in welfare to working families. That's one message organizers of the “Fight for 15” campaign are trying to drive home. “I shouldn't have to be on welfare, when I work my ass off,” Ashona ...

New Mexico Political Report

New Mexico Political Report
Thu, 07 May 2015 10:19:01 -0700

The open spaces of New Mexico are integral to our state's identity. We love our rural vistas, our deserts and forests, the peace and quiet. But let's face it – it's not easy to bring services such as high-speed Internet to rural areas of the state. We ...

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