Branden Durst

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Branden Durst
Member of the Idaho Senate
from District 18
In office
December 1, 2012 – December 1, 2013
Preceded byMitch Toryanski
Succeeded byJanie Ward-Engelking
Member of the Idaho House of Representatives
from District 18 Seat A
In office
December 1, 2006 – December 1, 2010
Preceded byDebbie Field
Succeeded byJulie Ellsworth
Personal details
Born (1980-01-15) January 15, 1980 (age 39)
Boise, Idaho
Spouse(s)Cheri (m. 2016)
ChildrenBroden, Carter, Graciana
Alma materPacific Lutheran University, Boise State University

Branden John Durst (born January 15, 1980) is a former center-right, pro-life, Evangelical Christian politician from Boise, Idaho. He was born in Boise, Idaho. Durst represented Idaho's 18th Legislative District in the Idaho Senate from 2012 to 2013.[1] He previously represented Idaho's 18th Legislative District in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010. Until his December 2013 resignation he was the youngest member of the Idaho Senate.[2] Durst lives in Boise, Idaho.

Early Life, Personal Life, and Career[edit]

Durst was born at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho in 1980. He grew up in south Boise and attended public schools and was a third generation graduate of Boise High School. Durst was involved in club soccer, baseball, wrestling, DECA, Young Life, and assorted church activities.

Durst attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) as undergraduate. Durst was awarded a scholarship for speech and debate in which he won several individual and team awards. While attending PLU, Durst was hired by the Washington State Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division. He also served as a policy intern for the American Counseling Association in Alexandria, Virginia. Academically, he earned a bachelor or arts degree in political science and a minor in communication.

After graduating from PLU, Durst attended graduate school at Kent State University and Claremont Graduate University where he studied public policy analysis and international political economy, respectively. He returned to Boise, and subsequently enrolled at Boise State University (BSU) where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree. While enrolled at BSU, Durst earned an academic scholarship from the Department of Public Policy and Administration and a research assistantship from the Department of Economics.

Durst is married and has two sons and a daughter. Professionally Durst works as a coach and consultant. He is an Evangelical Christian and attends Cloverdale Church of God in Boise.


In the Idaho Senate Durst served as a member of the following committees:[3]

  • Agricultural Affairs
  • Commerce and Human Resources
  • Education

Durst was also a member of the joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee (EORAC).[4]



Durst first ran for the Idaho Legislature in 2006 when he challenged then six-term incumbent Debbie Field. Field had also taken on the responsibility of serving as campaign manager for the gubernatorial campaign of C. L. "Butch" Otter. Durst won the race by a slim 176-vote margin.


In 2008, Durst had become one of the top targets of the Idaho Republican Party.[citation needed] This prompted five-term legislator Julie Ellsworth to challenge Durst. Ellsworth, who had lost in 2006 to Democrat Phylis King. Durst defeated Ellsworth by a 51/49 margin.


In 2010, Durst ran for the open seat in the Idaho Senate in his southeast Boise district vacated by Kate Kelly, but lost to Republican Mitch Toryanski by 103 votes. Fellow Democrat Janie Ward-Engelking ran for Durst's House seat, but lost by a nine-vote margin to Ellsworth.[5]


In January 2012 Durst announced his intention to run against Toryanski again.[6] Durst defeated Matthew Duncan in the Democratic primary with 77.1% of the vote. [7]

He defeated Toryanski with 53.5% of the vote in the general election. [8]


On November 20, 2013, Durst submitted his resignation from the Idaho Senate effective December 1, 2013, to Gov. Butch Otter. It was found out that Durst was splitting his time between Boise and the Seattle area, where his family had relocated.[9] He was succeeded by Ward-Engelking.[10]


  1. ^ "Branden Durst". ADA County Democrats. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  2. ^ Prentice, George. "Branden Durst 'If you look at the Democratic Senate Caucus, we're stronger than we were before.'" Boise Weekly, January 9, 2013. (accessed 20 August 2013)
  3. ^ "Idaho State Legislature - Senate Committees". Idaho Legislature. Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  4. ^ "Idaho State Legislature - EORAC Members". Idaho Legislature. Archived from the original on 2013-09-14. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  5. ^ November 2, 2010 General Election Results Archived May 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (accessed 17 January 2012)
  6. ^ Prentice, George. "Durst, Ward-Engelking Running for Legislature Again" Boise Weekly, January 17, 2012. (accessed 17 January 2012)
  7. ^ "2012 Primary Results legislative". Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  8. ^ "2012 General Results Legislative". Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  9. ^ Richert, Kevin. "Durst resigning from state Senate" Idaho Statesman, November 20, 2013. (accessed 20 November 2013)
  10. ^ Berg, Sven. "Ward-Engelking to replace Branden Durst in Idaho Senate" Idaho Statesman, December 20, 2013. (accessed 23 December 2013)