Filing time is over, and it's time for a quick overview of where parties and candidates stand as campaign season formally kicks in.
You can check the full and final candidate list as well - it's just been posted - and various points will be worth dwelling upon. For now, consider these . . .
Vacancies. Before reviewing the Idaho vacancy rate, let's place it in context. Ten days ago candidate filing ended in Oregon; there, with 75 legislative seats up for election, Republicans failed to fill nine ballot spots (a miss rate of 12%) and Democrats failed to fill four (5.3%). Now, in Idaho? Of 105 legislative seats up for election, Republicans filed to fill 11 (10.5%) while Democrats failed to fill 36 (34.3%). (Three of the seats unchallenged by Democrats are actually open seats, including those of retiring Speaker Bruce Newcomb and congressional candidate Bill Sali). The blank rate is much higher in Idaho, and we can easily see to whose advantage.
Having said that, the surprise here isn't the number of vacancies allowed by the Democrats - 36 isn't especially unusual, and better than in some years - but rather those allowed by the Republicans. After all, there are only 20 Democrats in the whole legislature, and more than half of them have been given a pass.
At least for now. Slots can still be filled at the primary election through write-in. But ordinarily, only a few slots per cycle are filled that way. Mostly, what we see now is what we get.
Among major and statewide offices, just one - secretary of state - lacks a major-party contest. Even if some others are placeholders, that's a better record than usual. (more…)