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32 uncontested elections for the statehouse this year

32 uncontested elections for the statehouse this year

by
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 20, 2010
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
March 20, 2010

More than 30 Idaho lawmakers will have an easy path to re-election, with no candidates filing paperwork to appear on this year’s ballot. The deadline to file for office was 5 p.m. Friday. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Treasurer Ron Crane also have unopposed paths to victory this November, and only two of the 39 judicial races across the state will have two names on the ballot. Write-in candidates can still campaign for these offices, but won't get their names on the ballot.  Some of the leading Republican lawmakers will run unopposed for re-election, including Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Spring and Assistant House Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.

Candidates are piling up to challenge Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Walt Minnick. Otter faces five challengers in the May Republican primary, and will see four more opponents in the general election. One of those will be the winner of the Democratic primary between Keith Allred of Eagle and Lee Chaney Sr. of Preston. Minnick has a clear path to the November ballot, but five Republicans, including Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Vaughn Ward will square off in the primary.

Republicans currently hold all of Idaho’s statewide and federal partisan offices, except Minnick’s seat in Congress. Some of them will face primary challengers. Lt. Gov. Brad Little has two Republican challengers in his first race for position, as well as a Democratic and Constitution Party opponent. State controller Donna Jones has two challengers, one Republican and one Democrat. U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo has one primary challenger, and two Democrats, including William Bryk, a lawyer living in Brooklyn, NY, are in the race. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson will face Katherine Burton of Boise, Rep. Russ Mathews of Idaho Falls and Chick Heileson of Idaho Falls in the primary, and a Democratic and independent candidate in the general election.

Boise schools superintendent Stan Olson will run as a Democrat against Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. GOP Secretary of State Ben Ysursa also faces a Democratic challenger, Mack Sermon of Caldwell. Sermon is a debate instructor at College of Idaho. On his Facebook campaign website, Sermon says he wants to run a clean campaign against Ysursa, and has posted several mock campaign ads saying that Ysursa is not a vampire or a pirate.

Only 9 current lawmakers are not filing for re-election, including Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise. Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, will run to replace Kelly in the Senate.  The list of lawmakers not running fr their seats also includes Labrador and Matthews, who are both running for Congress, as well as Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum. His wife, Michelle, has filled in for him all session while he recovers from brain cancer, and she will run for his Senate seat this year.

The statewide primary election is May 25, with the general election following on Nov. 2.

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