(UPDATED, 12:49 p.m., with former Rep. Scott Syme announcing his candidacy.)
A member of the Senate’s GOP leadership team will not seek re-election, and a former legislator plans to run for the vacant seat.
Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, announced Thursday that she will not run for a sixth two-year term. The Ontario, Ore., Argus Observer reported on her decision Thursday.
“I am proud of the work I have done to support good policies to protect families, farms, businesses, schools and children in our state,” Lee said in a news release, as reported by the Argus Observer. “What happens in the Idaho legislature matters, and I am proud to have been a part of so many good efforts.”
Lee currently serves as assistant majority leader. She represents legislative District 9, which takes in Payette and Washington counties and a portion of Canyon County.
On Friday, former state Rep. Scott Syme said he will run for Senate. Syme, a Wilder Republican, served in the House from 2017 to 2022. In May 2022, he ran in a hotly contested primary election between two sitting lawmakers; Midvale Republican Rep. Judy Boyle defeated Syme by six votes.
Syme will face a challenge from the right. New Plymouth Republican Brandon Shippy has already raised close to $58,000 for a Senate run, with some of his support coming from donors aligned with the Idaho Freedom Foundation. (Take a closer and up-to-date look at 2024 campaign fundraising here.)