Having moved to Boise just a few years before Mayor Bieter became Mayor Bieter, his name has become synonymous to me with that of our city. Other than his face and name, however, I knew little about his background. Since that’s likely the case with many of you, we thought we’d share a bit more about our town’s mayor.
David Harold Bieter was born in Boise November 1, 1959, and grew up in the North End. His father, Pat, was a professor at Boise State University. And his mother, Eloise Garmendia, was the daughter of two Basque immigrants who met in the Boise area. Dave attended Bishop Kelly High School and, in his youth, spent time in the Basque Country with his family. He earned a degree in International Studies from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and then moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he obtained a law degree from the University of Idaho.
After being admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1986, he worked as civil counsel to Bonner County. He later relocated to Boise, where he served as a land-use specialist with the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office. Eventually, he opened his own private practice and, in 1998, married his wife, Julia. At that time, his father was serving as an Idaho State Representative. But, the following year, when a tragic car accident killed both his parents, Dave succeeded his father as Representative of the 19th District (North Boise). He served there until 2002 and then was elected Boise Mayor in 2004.
Dave is currently serving his fourth term and is the longest serving mayor in the state’s history. In addition to English, Mayor Bieter is fluent in Spanish and Basque. During his time in office, he has served Boise well--supporting a housing project for the homeless, Esther Simplot Park, a facility to enhance water quality, as well as a future initiative to create a modern transportation system. His family remains one of the most prominent Basque families in America. His brother John runs the Basque studies program at Boise State University. His sister Mary is a teacher at Bishop Kelly High School. His brother Mark is a Washington, DC attorney. And, his brother Chris is an Ada County magistrate. Although Dave continues to happily serve as Boise’s mayor, it is speculated he may become the Democratic candidate for Governor of Idaho in the future.