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Legislative races heat up, but governor’s race filings remain quiet

For a major election year it’s been quiet at the top of the ticket as Idaho’s political candidate filing period enters the home stretch.

Across the state, nearly 250 candidates have filed for office since the official time period for political candidates to file the declaration of candidacy forms that are necessary to appear on the ballots opened on Feb. 28. The filing period closes at 5 p.m. Friday.

Although several contested legislative races are shaping up and multiple Republican candidates have filed to run for U.S. Senate and to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 2, the biggest names expected to enter the governor’s race are still waiting to file their paperwork as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the candidate filings posted by the Idaho Secretary of State’s office.

Although Gov. Brad Little is raising campaign funds and airing campaign ads, he has yet to officially announce he is running for re-election this year or file declaration of candidacy forms.

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who officially announced she was running for governor in May, has also yet to file declaration of candidacy paperwork with the state.

At this point, they both are still expected to run and have until the end of the week to do so.

Little has kept things low key while winning the campaign fundraising race and ramping up behind the scenes. In a virtual meeting with reporters last week, Little said his attention has been focused on serving as governor and the ongoing 2022 legislative session.

In her capacity as lieutenant governor, McGeachin has been presiding over the Idaho Senate since the session gaveled in Jan. 10. She has been actively campaigning for months and has pinned her endorsement from former President Donald. J. Trump to the top of her Twitter page.

Based on candidates filings so far, two legislative primaries are shaping up to be races to watch:

  • District 9, House Seat B Republican primary featuring Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, and Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale. The two incumbents were drawn together in the same legislative district due to the 2021 redistricting process.
  • District 14, Senate Republican primary featuring Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett; Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle and Republican challenger Katie Donaue of Emmett. Grow and Thayn are two incumbent senators who were drawn into the same legislative district due to redistricting.

There is also an eight-year-old rematch shaping up in the Republican primary for the U.S. House seat in Idaho’s second congressional district. Republican attorney Bryan Smith is again challenging U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. Another challenger, Flint Christensen, a Republican from Shelley, has also entered that race. In 2014, Simpson defeated Smith by a margin of 61.6% to 38.4%.

The Republican and Democratic primary elections are set for May 17, with the winners advancing to the Nov. 8 general election. Independent candidates will not appear on the primary ballots but will appear on the November ballots. Third party candidates will also not appear on ballots until November’s general election, unless there is a contested race.

The 2022 elections will shape Idaho government and politics for years to come. All statewide offices and every seat in the Idaho Legislature is up for election this year.

Here’s a look at the latest filings, which were posted Tuesday morning by the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.

Idaho Capital Sun reporter Kelcie Moseley-Morris contributed to this report and created the table of primary election candidates. 

— Clark Corbin is a reporter for the Idaho Capital Sun. This article was originally published on idahocapitalsun.com.

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