Though still in session, legislating took a back seat to campaigning last week as final candidate filings rolled in across Idaho.
First on the federal scene, The Mikes (Sen. Crapo and Sen. Simpson) drew multiple GOP primary challengers while The Walt (Rep. Minnick) managed to stave off any Democratic challengers, despite his recent vote against mediocre, near-universal health care for most Americans.
There are plenty of Republicans gunning for Minnick's seat, however, led by Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador representing the particularly conservative and the especially conservative wings of the Idaho GOP.
At the state level, Uncle Butch drew significant challenges from the left, right and screwy. Along with single-issue candidates and comedians, Otter will face Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman, angry former elk farmer Rex Rammell and a lady from Post Falls who filed at the last minute and whom citydesk has yet to burden with any type of label.
Whoever emerges from that fat primary will almost definitely face Democrat Keith Allred, who has a minor primary challenger to contend with as well.
Eldon Wallace, an education expert who has advised Democratic legislators, is challenging Lt. Gov. Brad Little in November, should Little stave off his two primary challengers. Democrats also fielded candidates for secretary of state, controller and superintendent of public instruction this year.
In local legislative races, there is much interest in the western Ada County (District 14) seat being abandoned by Labrador. Four Republicans, including Mayor Nate Mitchell from Star and Reed DeMordaunt, want in, and Democrat Steve Berch also filed.
District 14's Mike Moyle also drew Democratic opposition this year from William J. Young.
Two veteran Democrats are abandoning their posts, opening up seats in districts 18 and 19. Sen. Kate Kelly and Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart are retiring. Republicans, including Dean Sorensen, who ran against Kelly previously, are all over the District 18 races.
Democrats, on the other hand, are jockeying for the open District 19 seat, with four filed for the May 25 primary.
The Ada County Commission race got interesting last week with a pair of veteran county commissioners filing against two incumbents with the hopes of dissolving the County Commission as we know it.
Roger Simmons and Vern Bisterfeldt, who served together on the commission a decade ago, want back in, and they want to get rid of the three full-time commissioners in favor of a part-time, five-person board.
Simmons is challenging Commissioner Rick Yzaguirre and Bisterfeldt is running against Chairman Fred Tilman.
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