Available Soon: Request your printed copies of the Idaho Freedom Index mailed to you!
Request Your Copies

Conservatives came out on top in May 2022 primary elections

Conservatives came out on top in May 2022 primary elections

Wayne Hoffman
May 19, 2022
Wayne Hoffman
Author Image
May 19, 2022

I gather from the phone calls and emails I’m getting that people don’t realize what a monumentally successful night conservatives had in Idaho’s primary election on Tuesday. This one was one for the record books, and it could help usher in a new chapter in Idaho’s political history. 

The Idaho Senate, commonly known for the last several years as “the place where conservative legislation goes to die,” will thankfully be a very different place in 2023. As many as a dozen conservative legislators will take their seats in the 35-member chamber following the results of the May Republican Primary. A couple more conservatives could be added depending on the outcome of the November general election. This is a significant development, given that this year, conservatives enjoyed the consistent support of only two members, both of whom are retiring in December. 

Having as many as a dozen rock solid conservatives in such a tiny chamber will mean that those conservatives will find themselves in position to quickly and effectively impact policy. Such an impact starts with the selection of Senate leadership. I suspect that Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder, who once called the Idaho Freedom Foundation the “greatest threat to democracy” and made it a habit of blocking House-passed conservative legislation, will find his days in command of the Senate are numbered. Decisions about his future — and that of the rest of Senate leadership — will be made in December. 

For now, it is clear that the Senate’s committees will swing to the right, not only because a number of Senate committee chairmen were defeated in Tuesday’s election, but also because now there’s enough conservative senators to create committees made up a majority bloc on the nine-member policy panels. 

With leftists like Sen. Carl Crabtree and Sen. Jim Woodward defeated and out of the way, does this mean instead of a Senate Education Committee that blocks parental rights legislation and protects union interests, we could have a panel that finally embraces robust education choice policies? Very possible.

It’s equally possible that legislation to prevent mask and vaccine mandates would pass now that Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Martin will be gone. Martin’s defeat and the defeat of leftist senators like Jeff Agenbroad, Crabtree, and Woodward, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee could lead lawmakers to finally restrain spending, starting with the bloated Medicaid budget. 

This shift in the political makeup of the Senate will nicely complement the dynamic of the Idaho House of Representatives, which remains very conservative despite the loss of some top-notch legislators. 

The media will of course fixate on Tuesday’s losses and claim victory. It’s easy to look at disappointing outcomes for conservatives running for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, and secretary of state and conclude a long string of electoral successes for conservatives has come to an end. Coupled with the loss of such conservative luminaries as Ron Nate, Karey Hanks, Chad Christensen, and Greg Ferch, it’s easy to fabricate a story that the conservative movement reached its zenith in 2020. 

The bigger picture proves something else. The losses in the House are offset by the election of other conservative candidates, almost one-to-one, meaning the net conservative composition of the House will be little changed. And the Senate will go from having two solid conservative senators to a dozen or more. For statewide offices, conservatives lost the lieutenant governor, who effectively has no real power, and they’ve picked up an attorney general, who has a lot of power and influence. 

In short, the May 2022 primary elections will likely produce the most conservative governing this state has ever seen.

View Comments
  • Rick Rund says:

    This made my day. After "the big offices" seemed to go against Conservatives it is nice to see there was progress..

  • Lori Whitney says:

    This gives me hope. Thanks for your positive analysis. I intend to back Bundy, loud and proud!!

  • Mark says:

    Will take what we can and go from here!
    Am looking forward to positive changes!

  • Heather says:

    I'm waaaaaay more excited about the Senate results than I would have been with more executive wins. It's a much bigger deal for (finally) advancing conservative policies.

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    The remaking of the GOP from the party of low IQ pasty faced hacks who are selling out legacy Americans to the party that promotes America First ideas and the working class continues. It will not be easy, but there is no alternative but to resist and fight. This is occurring not just in Idaho but across the country.

    When IFF talks to the incoming GOP legislators, they must include a discussion of the concept of nullification to push back against tyrannical Federal edicts. Idaho legislators seem to be clueless regarding this most important tool. It is a shame because many other states are using it with regard to such issues as gun rights, asset forfeiture, and defend the guard legislation. To get up to speed on this issue, go the Tenth Amendment Center website.

    I also want to reiterate that political solutions can only do so much to address our problems, as their causes are really culturally based. We need to network with like-minded people, build parallel institutions, regain control of local school boards, and city councils. Work to get sheriff's in place who will resist against Federal law enforcement and stand with the local citizens.

    Most of all conservatives need to realize that they cannot be afraid to use power when they have it. The left never does.

    • Bobby W says:

      You've been watching too much Glenn Beck. Here's what Stephen King has to say about him, ""Satan's mentally challenged younger brother."

    • Bobby W says:

      Im curious, Bruce, about your theories on state sovereignty since you advocate nullification.
      Did you support AG Wasden when he refused to join in the failed Texas litigation against GA, PA, AXZ and the rest? Wasden refrained because he didnt want to infringe on other states' sovereignty. By your support of nullification, i would guess you supported Wasden's decision, right? After all, you wouldnt want another state to infringe on Idahos sovereignty, nor the federal govt.
      Raul Labrador, however, got IFF endorsement despite saying he would have joined that litigation. And same with McGeachin. It seems to me they give lip service to the concept of state sovereignty while Wasden put his career at risk to support it.
      What do you think?

  • Bruce Hendricks says:

    To follow up on my previous comments, other issues for which nullification is an extremely valuable tool include actions to limit drone surveillance, treating gold and silver like money, and negating mandated "vaccines." IFF really needs to use their hard earn prestige to educate our state legislators.

  • Bobby W says:

    Nice try at the spin, Wayne. Almost as big a spin as when we passed 1,000,000 COVID deaths and you called it the "so called pandemic".

    • Ray says:

      About 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year and in 2020 alone there were 602,350 cancer deaths. Yes, death is tragic, and increased death is immensely tragic, but COVID does not merit the kind of Government response we have seen and continue to see, especially after 2 years.

    • Marvin says:

      The spin is yours, Bobby -- and it wasn't even a nice try. How do you know how many deaths we had from COVID? Oh yeah, the mad media and the "experts", who have proven themselves to be psychopathic liars over and over and over again. Anyone who hasn't wised up by now is just incapable of independent thought.

    • Fred Garvin says:

      COVID deaths... More misconstrued, convoluted deception and lies. The real death numbers truth is the hospital protocol induced deaths. How many deaths were the result because simple treatment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were banned and instead, this mystery experimental injection was mandated throughout the world?

  • Caldwell J says:

    A big step in the right direction 👍

  • Idaho Freedom Foundation
    802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
    p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
    COPYRIGHT © 2022 Idaho freedom Foundation
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram