Candidate filings, 3.12.20: T-minus one day …

It was a fairly slow Day Nine of the candidate filing period.

But things are likely to pick up Friday.

The filing period for the 2020 elections closes at 5 p.m. If past filing deadlines are any indication, we can expect a flurry of filings news well after the deadline.

We will update this blog as the filings go final.

March 11 filings highlights

  • Jim Woodward, R-Sagle, filed for a second term. He sits on the Senate Education Committee and the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Woodward has a Democratic opponent, Vera Gadman of Hope.
  • Former state Rep. Patrick McDonald is running again in legislative District 15, a battleground district in West Boise. McDonald, a Republican and former vice chairman of the House Education Committee, will challenge freshman Rep. Steve Berch, a House Education member. McDonald lost in November 2018 to Rep. Jake Ellis, D-Boise.
  • Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, a JFAC vice chair, has filed for a sixth term.

March 10 filings highlights

A longtime House Education Committee member won’t run again this year, and there’s a crowd of candidates looking to replace him.

“I think 16 years is long enough. It’s time to let the younger generation move in,” Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, told Bill Spence of the Lewiston Tribune.

Three Republicans have filed to run for the seat in sprawling legislative District 7, which stretches from Salmon River country to the Panhandle. One candidate, said Spence, is Shepherd’s son Charlie, a longtime coach at Salmon River High School. Orofino Republican Dennis Harper and Sandpoint Republican Cornel Rasor are also in the running.

In other news from Day Seven of the candidate filing period, Salmon Republican LaVerne Sessions has filed to challenge Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, a member of the House Education Committee.

The candidate filing period runs through Friday, March 13. Check back daily for updates.

March 9 filings highlights

  • Former state Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Viola, is seeking to return to the Legislature. He has filed to run against Sen. David Nelson, who ousted Foreman in 2018.
  • In the Pocatello area’s legislative District 29, two other former lawmakers are in the running. Former state Rep. Dustin Manwaring wants to return to the House. He served in the House from 2016 to 2018 before he was ousted by Rep. Chris Abernathy, a House Education Committee member. Former Rep. James Ruchti, a Pocatello Democrat, has filed to run for the district’s second House seat, now held by retiring Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello.
  • In Idaho Falls, Democrat Miranda Marquit is planning to challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Ehardt, Nathan Brown of the Post Register reports. Marquit testified Friday against Ehardt’s bill to ban transgender girls and women from playing in girls’ and women’s sports. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted Monday to send Ehardt’s bill to the floor for amendment.
  • John McCrostie, D-Garden City, has filed for a fourth term. McCrostie is the House’s assistant minority leader, and he sits on House Education.

March 6 filings highlights

  • Former House member Karey Hanks, a St. Anthony Republican, wants to return to the Legislature. She is taking on Rep. Jerald Raymond, R-Menan, a first-term lawmaker who sits on the House Education Committee.
  • Senate State Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge is seeking re-election. The Caldwell Republican is seeking a 12th term, which would make her the most senior member of the Senate. She has a Republican primary opponent: Scott R. Brock of Middleton.

March 5 filings highlights

  • Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, will seek a fourth House term. The House Education Committee vice chairman and retired school superintendent already has a Republican primary opponent: Jim Smith of Fruitland.
  • Sen. Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville, will seek a third term. He sits on the Senate Education Committee and the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
  • Former state Rep. Ron Nate, a Rexburg Republican, filed paperwork for another House run. He will challenge Rep. Britt Raybould, R-Rexburg, a first-term lawmaker who sits on JFAC.
  • House Majority Caucus Chair Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, will seek a third term.
  • Boise Republican Hilary Lee will challenge Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, a Senate Education and JFAC member.

March 4 filings highlights

  • Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, filed to seek an eighth legislative term. He’s vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and with Chairman Dean Mortimer retiring, Thayn could be in line to head the committee if he’s re-elected. Thayn will face at least one opponent: Marla Lawson, a Lowman Republican. Thayn defeated Lawson in the 2018 GOP primary.
  • Several lawmakers who already chair powerful committees are running again: Senate State Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Caldwell; House State Affairs Committee Chairman Steven Harris, R-Meridian; and Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee co-chair Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa.
  • Several prominent legislative leaders are also seeking re-election: House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star; House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise; and Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum.
  • In other education committee news, House Education Committee member Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, will seek re-election, as will Senate Education member Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls.

March 3 filings highlights

  • The race to replace Senate Education Committee Chairman Dean Mortimer is getting crowded. Former state Rep. Jeff Thompson, an Idaho Falls Republican, filed to run for Mortimer’s Senate seat. Two other Republicans, Adam Frugoli and Kevin Cook, have announced their plans to run, but have not formally filed paperwork.
  • Also in Idaho Falls’ legislative District 30, Rep. Wendy Horman has filed to run for a fifth term. She is a vice chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, playing an instrumental role in writing K-12 budget bills.
  • Three members of the Senate Education Committee have filed their paperwork to run again: Sens. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian; Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise; Chuck Winder, R-Boise. All three senators have worked on the legislative committee trying to rewrite Idaho’s school funding formula. Ward-Engelking also sits on JFAC.
  • Four more House Education Committee members have filed for re-election: Reps. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle; Gary Marshall, R-Idaho Falls; Jerald Raymond, R-Menan; and Tony Wisniewski, R-Post Falls. Counting Monday’s filings, eight of the 15 members of House Education have already filed for re-election.
  • Middleton school trustee Kirk Adams filed to run for a House seat in Canyon County’s District 11. Adams, a Republican, will challenge first-term Rep. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton.

March 2 filings highlights

  • House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, filed for an 11th term.
  • House Education Committee Chairman Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, filed for a fifth term. He’s among four House Education members who filed paperwork Monday. Reps. Steve Berch, D-Boise; Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene; and Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, also filed for re-election.
  • Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, co-chair of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, will seek an eighth term.

Meanwhile, two veteran House members said they won’t seek re-election: Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Robert Anderst, R-Nampa, will step aside at year’s end, Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press reported Monday.



Kevin Richert

About 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 KIVI 6 On Your Side; "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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