Political money trail: Incumbents back Nate’s opponent

Two prominent Republican lawmakers are throwing their financial support behind Doug Ricks, who is opposing first-term Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg.

District 34 House Seat A Challenger Doug Ricks
Doug Ricks

Ricks received $1,000 from Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and $500 from Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, vice chairman of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

All told, Ricks reported raising $8,424.99, according to a campaign finance report posted Tuesday. Nate’s report has not been posted — but reports aren’t due until Tuesday, one week before the May 17 primary elections.

It is unusual for lawmakers to throw their financial support behind challengers — particularly in contested races involving an incumbent.

Nate New
Rep. Ron Nate

In other races, and early campaign finance filings, GOP legislative leaders have backed incumbents who face primary challenges this month.

Hill, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis of Idaho Falls and Sen. Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens each gave $500 to Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood. House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley contributed $500 to Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins.

Read more: Check this blog through next week for more campaign finance news. And click here for our closer look at the Nate-Ricks primary.