Bedke-Crane matchup heads legislative leadership races

One thing is for certain about next month’s legislative leadership elections: There will be shakeups.

The House’s assistant majority leader, Brent Crane of Nampa, will challenge sitting House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley.

And House majority caucus chairman John Vander Woude of Nampa will take on Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star.

Scott Bedke

The votes will come on Dec. 5, when House Republicans meet behind closed doors to vote for their leadership team. The outcome could have an immediate effect on committee assignments — and who fills vacant chairperson’s spots on the House Education Committee and the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. And the leadership team helps set the agenda for the House, where Republicans will hold a whopping 56-14 majority.

With Crane and Vander Woude abandoning their spots in leadership, this creates two wide-open races. Here’s the lineup, as reported Tuesday by Cynthia Sewell of the Idaho Statesman and Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press:

  • Assistant majority leader: Terry Gestrin, Donnelly; Jason Monks, Nampa.
  • Majority caucus chair: Megan Blanksma, Hammett; Sage Dixon, Ponderay; Dorothy Moon, Stanley.
Brent Crane

Crane told Russell that he hoped to adopt a “servant leadership” style as speaker, and push for increased legislative staffing. “Constantly I’m finding members that are overworked and overwhelmed and stressed out.”

Said Bedke, in an interview with Russell, “I have a record that I’m proud of, and I’ve always sought to be fair and even-handed. And I think the record would demonstrate that.”

Bedke has been House speaker since 2012, when he unseated then-Speaker Lawerence Denney, now Idaho’s secretary of state.

One leadership race is looming on the Senate side, Sewell and Russell both reported. Todd Lakey of Nampa is challenging Assistant Majority Leader Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens.

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