Though results are still pouring into clerk's office in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Mike Simpson, who has served in the U.S. Congress since 1999, has won the Republican nomination. Simpson defeated state Rep. Russ Mathews, R-Idaho Falls, Chick Heileson, of Iona, and Katherine Burton of Boise, Tuesday. At the time this article was printed, Simpson had 56 percent of the vote, while Heileson had 27 percent, Mathews received 9 percent, and Burton garnered 7 percent.
Because Congress is still in session, Simpson was unable to deliver his acceptance address in person. State Republican chairman Norm Semanko gave Simpson's speech, in which he thanked his challengers for running issue-based campaigns.
Here is Simpson's full speech:
I want to take this opportunity to thank Republicans across the Second Congressional District for their support of my candidacy.
I also want to take this time to commend Representative Mathews, Katherine Burton, and Chick Heileson for the issues-based campaigns they ran and their willingness to to put their names forward. Running for office isn't easy, nor should it be. But my three opponents stuck to the issues and ran a spirited campaigns. Elections are about choices and each of them is to be commended for offering Idaho Republicans a diverse set of ideas to consider as we prepare as we prepare for the upcoming elections in November.
We have an historic opportunity in November to re-elect an outstanding Republican Governor in Butch Otter and our entire slate of experienced professionals in the state Constitutional offices. We have a great opportunity to expand our majorities in the Idaho House and Senate. And in congress, we stand on the edge of taking back the House of Representatives and ending Nancy Pelosi's appetite to expand the reach of the federal government over the states and each of our lives.
The only way we can achieve our goals, however, is to be united as a party heading into the November elections. I look forward to supporting our Republican champions this summer and fall and seeing Republicans make historic gains in Idaho and across the nation in November.
Again, thank you for your support this year and in years past and let's turn our focus to November as fast as possible. On to victory.
Simpson won re-election in 2008 by earning 72 percent of the vote. He will now face Brian Schad, an Independent from Idaho Falls, and Mike Crawford, a Democrat from Mountain Home, in November’s general election.