The legislative results are incomplete at this writing – we’ll do updates – but the most immediate, first, thing to focus on in situations like this are any legislators who may be losing their primaries. So, are there any?
Well, yeah, in the early-early results anyway – quite a few of them in fact. With the caveat that this is early yet: Take none of it to the bank yet.
In Senate 14, incumbent Stan Bastian is trailing (34%-45%) behind Chuck Winder, the former candidate for governor and mayor of Boise and long deeply involved in transportation issues, and in planning and building for years ahead. If he does go on to win this, he could be the lead figure on that subject in the next legislative session.
In Senate 20, incumbent Shirley McKague, one of the hard-core anti-tax absolutists, is (this is early again) losing to challenger Mark Snodgrass – a significant outcome if it holds, because Snodgrass would fall into the category of a conservative Republican willing to work within a framework of urban planning. We’ll watch this closely.
In House 10A, recently-appointed Curtis Bowers – he of the culture wars invoking the spectre of communism – is losing to the more mainstream Pat Takasugi, the former state Department of Agriculture director.
In House 11A, freshman Steven Thayn, who may be the most out-there legislator in Idaho (his alliances indicate a very strong antipathy, for example, to any public schools), is locked in a close battle with two challengers. At the moment (28% of the vote in) the results is two close to call, but Thayn’s two challengers are each at 35% of the vote, and he’s at 30%.
These Ada-Canyon contests all suggest mainstream contenders doing better than their more extreme-spoken opponents.
Less clear is the House 9B race between newly-appointed Diana Thomas and long-time activist (Weiser River Cattlemen, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, National Rifle Association) Judy Boyle. Boyle is way ahead at present, and her stances over the years suggest appeal at least from the more conservative activist (especially on environmental matter) slice of the party.
Notable, maybe: Three legislative appointees by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter – McKague, Bowers, Thomas – all trailing in these early returns.
We’ll be updating.
UPDATE The McKague-Snodgrass vote has tightened considerably – will be a while before we know how it emerges. But we also missed another legislative incumbent in trouble – Senator Russell Fulcher in District 21 (western Ada), now losing to retired lawyer Steven Ricks; the two seem not far apart in their views or approach.
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