Many of the candidates expected to be on this year’s statewide election ballots have formally filed with the Idaho secretary of state, but two sitting constitutional officers have yet to declare their intent. Prospective candidates have until March 19 to put their names on the ballots. Gov. Butch Otter waited until Friday to formally begin his re-election campaign. Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna have yet to put in their paperwork. Several other statewide officials don’t have any opposition yet. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Controller Donna Jones, and Treasurer Ron Crane have no Republican or Democratic opponents yet.
Otter faces challengers in both the primary and general election. Republicans Walt Bayes of Wilder and Rex Rammell of Idaho Falls have formally declared. Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman and Pete Peterson of Boise have also sent fundraising figures to the secretary of state. Keith Allred of Eagle is the only Democrat to announce so far, though Lee Chaney of Preston has received some campaign contributions. Independents Jana Kemp of Boise and Ted Dunlap of Kuna are also in the race. The candidate named Pro-Life has been collecting signatures, but has yet to send the needed 1,000 signatures. Candidates for governor can bypass the signature requirement by paying a $300 filing fee. Other state constitutional offices require a $200 fee.
Several Republicans are lining up for the chance to challenge Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick. Vaughn Ward of Eagle filed his paperwork Friday. Rep. Raul Labrador of Eagle has yet to file. Michael Chadwick of Post Falls and Harley Brown of Idaho City are also in the Republican primary. St. Maries independent Dave Olson and Boise libertarian Mike Washburn will also have their names on the November election ballot.
Republican Congressman Mike Simpson faces two primary challengers from Idaho Falls, Chick Heileson and Rep. Russ Mathews. No Democrats have declared for that race yet. Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo is seeking his third six-year term and has one Democratic challenger, Tom Sullivan of Tetonia. He also faces a primary challenge from Republican Skip Davis of Weiser. Crapo won his last election in 2004 with 99 percent of the vote and no declared Democratic opponent.
Several Republican state lawmakers will face challengers in this May’s primary. In the state Senate, that list includes Joyce Broadsword of Sagle, John McGee of Caldwell, Tim Corder of Mountain Home, and Charles Coiner of Twin Falls. Several House Republicans also face contested primaries, including Lenore Barrett of Challis, Leon Smith of Twin Falls, Rich Jarvis of Meridian, Lynn Luker of Boise, and Steve Kren of Nampa.
Other lawmakers will retire, leaving open seats for candidates. The seat currently held by Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, has three Republican candidates. Labrador has two Republicans running for his seat in the state House of Representatives. Pocatello Democratic Rep. James Ruchti has both a Republican and Democratic contender for his open seat.
Several state lawmakers face general election challengers, including Reps. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, Liz Chavez, D-Lewiston, Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, Gary Collins, R-Nampa, Boise Democratic Reps. Grant Burgoyne, Sue Chew, and Phylis King. On the Senate side, the list includes Kate Kelly, D-Boise, Shirley McKague, R-Meridian, Jarvis, and Corder.
There are no filed candidates for 11 legislative races across Idaho yet. The secretary of state's office updates filings twice on weekdays here. (pdf)
In state judicial races, the only incumbent judge not to file is Second District Judge John Bradbury, who has said he won’t run for re-election. He has come under heat from the Idaho Judicial Council for not living in his listed home in Grangeville, according to the Associated Press. Retired magistrate judge Michael Griffin is the only announced candidate for the position.