Since getting diagnosed with cancer, issues like being a Democrat struggling through Republican-dominated legislatives sessions just aren't as important anymore to Idaho state Rep. Hy Kloc. The third-term lawmaker says he's retiring from the Legislature as he battles cancer.
The 71-year-old Boise Democrat had a cancerous kidney and adrenal gland removed late last year, and he was due to begin chemotherapy Sunday, the Idaho Statesman reported.
"Life changes in a flash, in a second," Kloc said Friday, describing the moment he learned he had cancer.
He says his prognosis is good, but his priorities have shifted.
Kloc announced to his constituents March 12 that he would retire from the Legislature after his term ends late this year to focus on his health.
Kloc's parents were Holocaust survivors and he was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany at the end of World War II. His family immigrated to the United States when he was a child.
He moved to Boise in 2001 and worked as an executive for Boise State Public Radio before retiring from that job in 2010.
In 2012, he was elected to the Legislature from District 16, which includes Northwest Boise and Garden City.
Kloc said he'll stay on the governing board of the Greater Boise Auditorium District, which owns and operates Boise Centre, a convention venue, and uses money from a 5 percent tax on hotel room rentals to support projects aimed at improving the local economy.
Kloc has served on the board since 2011. He wants to stay because he feels he's more influential in that job than he is in the Legislature.
He's been a vocal supporter of a proposal to build a stadium in downtown Boise.