H. Brent Coles

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H. Brent Coles
52nd Mayor of Boise
In office
January 5, 1993 – February 15, 2003
Preceded byDirk Kempthorne
Succeeded byCarolyn Terteling-Payne
58th President of the United States Conference of Mayors
In office
Preceded byWellington Webb
Succeeded byMarc Morial
Personal details
Bornc. 1951 (age 72–73)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationBrigham Young University (BA)
California State University, Long Beach (MPA)

H. Brent Coles (born c. 1951) is an American politician who served as mayor of Boise, Idaho from 1993 to 2003. Coles resigned from office after accepting an illegal trip to the 2002 Winter Olympics from an insurance company. Coles was a candidate in the 2019 Boise mayoral election, placing fourth out of seven candidates in first round of voting.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Idaho Falls, Coles moved to Boise with his family in 1968 and graduated from Borah High School in 1970. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach.[1]


Coles was appointed mayor in January 1993 by the Boise City Council,[2] upon the resignation of Dirk Kempthorne, who was elected to the United States Senate in 1992. Coles was elected to a full term as mayor in November 1993, defeating Tracy Andrus,[3] and was re-elected in 1997 and 2001.[4]

In 2000 and 2001, Coles served as president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

In February 2003, Coles resigned after being charged with accepting an illegal trip from Blue Cross of Idaho to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.[5][6][7] Prior to his resignation Coles had been the target of a recall election drive. City council member Carolyn Terteling-Payne was appointed to serve until the end of 2003.[8]

Coles was indicted in May 2003 by an Ada County grand jury for five felonies stemming from the incident and related activities.[9] In November 2003, Coles pleaded an Alford plea to a count of presenting a fraudulent account or voucher and a count of misuse of public money by officers. The remaining charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain. In January 2004 he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years' probation.[10] In August 2011, The state of Idaho levied a tax lien in the amount of $44,691.31 against Coles and his wife for unpaid individual income taxes.[11]

On September 6, 2019, Coles announced that he would again run for the Boise mayoral seat in the 2019 Boise mayoral election. Coles faced long-time Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, president of the Boise City Council President Lauren McLean, and several other candidates. Coles came in fourth place out of seven candidates, garnering 7.3% of votes cast.[12] McLean and Bieter advanced to a December 3, 2019 runoff election, with McLean declared the eventual winner.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard Long; California 90840 562.985.4111 (2018-12-12). "H. Brent Coles". California State University, Long Beach. Retrieved 2019-11-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Coles elected mayor of Boise". Spokesman-Review. January 7, 1993. p. B2.
  3. ^ Miller, Dean (November 3, 1993). "Andrus' daughter loses mayor race". Spokesman-Review. p. B3.
  4. ^ "Brent Coles". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Gallagher, Dan (February 15, 2003). "Boise mayor resigns". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. p. 1A.
  6. ^ "Charged with getting free Olympics trip, Boise mayor resigns". The New York Times. February 15, 2003. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "Boise mayor resigns over ethics charges". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. February 15, 2003. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Boise City Council names interim mayor". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. February 19, 2003. p. 2A.
  9. ^ Grand Jury Indicts Brent Coles and Gary Lyman, May 7, 2003
  10. ^ "H. Brent Coles Sentenced". State of Idaho. Office of the Attorney General. January 4, 2004. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Former Boise mayor & wife face $44K Idaho tax lien". KTVB.com. August 19, 2011. Archived from the original on May 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Staff (6 November 2019). "Election 2019: Boise Mayor's Race Heads To Runoff, Local Results From Around Idaho". www.boisestatepublicradio.org. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  13. ^ "Brent Coles announces he's running for mayor, years after scandal that rocked City Hall". 6 September 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Boise, Idaho
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the United States Conference of Mayors
Succeeded by