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Corder, Hart, Nessett, Schaefer lose re-election; other challengers statewide fail to sway voters

Corder, Hart, Nessett, Schaefer lose re-election; other challengers statewide fail to sway voters

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
May 16, 2012

Four legislative races Tuesday resulted in the defeats of Republican incumbents, but all other challengers fell short of their goal of toppling long-standing and well-funded incumbents.

GOP Rep. Phil Hart of Hayden lost a four-way race to challenger Ed Morse, ending an eight-year legislative career that has been criticized for an ongoing battle with state and federal tax collectors. Hart ended the night with 31.2 percent of the vote to Morse's 35.4 percent.

Nampa Rep. Robert Schaefer, a 28-year legislative veteran, lost to former Canyon County Commissioner Todd Lakey in a rout. Lakey scored 61.4 percent of the vote.

Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee Chairman Tim Corder of Mountain Home lost in the redrawn legislative district that found him opposite Senate colleague Bert Brackett of Rogerson. Brackett collected 57.4 percent of the vote to Corder's 42.6 percent.

In another tussle among incumbents, freshman Dan Johnson, recently appointed to the Senate, put down a challenge from Rep. Jim Nessett. The two-way race for the Lewiston-area district ended with Johnson securing more than 59 percent of the vote.

Elsewhere, incumbents held their ground despite plenty of money and advertising intended to unseat them. Panhandle Sen. Shawn Keough and Reps. George Eskridge and Eric Anderson easily put away challenges from the right with 70.7 percent, 66.8 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

In Kootenai County, freshman Sen. Steve Vick walked away with 61.8 percent of the vote against rival and former Sen. Mike Jorgenson, whom Vick defeated two years ago.

In the Benewah-Latah District 5, Greshman Bouma, who defeated Sen. Gary Schroeder in the GOP Primary in 2010, won a contest against Schoeder's son, Barrett, with 68 percent of the vote. That means Bouma will have a rematch against incumbent Democrat Sen. Dan Schmidt in November.

Freshman Rep. Shannon McMillan of Silverton grabbed 47 percent of the vote in a three-way contest featuring Rex Rammell, who is known for his bids for statewide office. Rammell mustered just less than 31 percent of the vote.

Rep. Steven Thayn of Emmett won the GOP nomination in his quest to move to the Senate. The three-way race garnered him 44.6 percent of the vote in a sweeping new District 8 that covers five counties: Boise, Custer, Gem, Lemhi and Valley.

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts of Donnelly, who was targeted for defeat by his own House leadership team, won the GOP nomination with a plurality of almost 45 percent in a three-way race.

Rep. Lenore Barrett of Challis also chalked up a win in a four-way race, with more than 37 percent of the vote.

Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth put away his opposition, Matthew Faulks of Parma, with 56 percent of the vote despite a challenge that focused on last legislative session's ethics inquiry (for which Pearce was exonerated) and his support for new oil and gas regulations.

Likewise, Pearce's District 9 House colleague, Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale, amassed an almost 57 percent majority despite facing a four-way race and heavy criticism for the new oil and gas statutes.

Newly-minted Sen. Jim Rice of Caldwell, appointed a few months ago to replace Sen. John McGee who resigned, easily dispatched Kent Marmon with 68.8 percent of the vote.

Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Patti Anne Lodge captured 59.8 percent of the vote over former Rep. Maurice Clements, to claim the GOP nomination for the Canyon County District 11 seat. Both of her House seatmates, Gayle Batt and Christy Perry, also won Tuesday and face no opposition in the fall.

Senate State Affairs Chairman Curt McKenzie fended off a challenge from retired dairy farmer Hubert Osborne, securing the GOP nomination for the Canyon County seat with 54.3 percent of the vote.

In Ada County, Rep. Marv Hagedorn will move to the Senate later this year, securing 55.5 percent of the vote against former legislators Stan Bastian and Gary Bauer.

Tom Dayley, a former Department of Agriculture employee, picked up 34.3 percent of the vote in a four-way race to win the GOP nomination in an open District 21 seat.

In District 22, Jason Monks won the GOP nomination with 39.7 percent of the vote, narrowly beating out former representative and county commissioner Fred Tilman and three other rivals.

In the Mini-Cassia area, Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron of Rupert gained re-election to the new District 27 by defeating Cassia County rancher Doug Pickett. Cameron scored almost 57 percent of the vote.

In southeastern Idaho, former Rep. Rusty Barlow couldn't come close to beating freshman Rep. Jim Guthrie of McCammon. Guthrie won the GOP nomination with 65.3 percent of the vote, but still faces opposition in November. Sen. John Tippetts of Montpelier, won re-election with 57.5 percent over Scott Workman.

In eastern Idaho, Dell Raybould, the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee chairman, had no problem securing re-election against two challengers with 58.6 percent of the vote.

Finally, two former legislators switched from the Statehouse to the county courthouse. Sen. Joyce Broadsword of Sagle, who did not seek re-election, beat incumbent Cornel Rasor for a seat on the Bonner County Commission. Broadsword collected 51 percent of the vote. Rep. Carlos Bilbao won a four-way race for a spot on the Gem County Commission.

Idaho Freedom Foundation
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