Ysursa won’t seek fourth term

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa ended weeks of speculation Friday, saying he will not seek re-election in 2014.

Ben Ysursa

Ben Ysursa

Ysursa had been a fixture in an office that oversees the state’s elections. A longtime assistant to former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, Ysursa himself held the elected office since 2002.

But in a statement to the Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey, Ysursa said, “I would note that my term does not end until 2015 and there are many important issues to face in 2014 pertaining to elections and Land Board issues, which will be the focus of my attention.”

The secretary of state holds one of five seats on the Land Board, which sets state endowment land policies affecting several beneficiaries — the largest being public education.

State Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, has already entered the secretary of state’s race. Ada County chief deputy clerk Phil McGrane and former state Sen. Mitch Toryanski of Boise are also possible Republican candidates. No Democrat has announced for the race.