A member of Senate GOP leadership will not seek re-election

(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

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.)

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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