The most popular open seat in Idaho?

In 12 years as secretary of state, Ben Ysursa has earned bipartisan praise as the state’s elections umpire.

Ysursa’s going-away gift to voters may be a crowded race for a successor.

Rep. Luke Malek

Freshman state Rep. Luke Malek of Coeur d’Alene is the latest Republican who says he’s considering the race.

“It’s definitely intriguing,” Malek told Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

That could be an apt description of the GOP primary in the works. Here’s your cast of characters, as of this hour:

• State Rep. Lawerence Denney, Midvale. In the race. Announced in October.

• Former state Sen. Mitch Toryanski, Boise. Considering the race. On Nov. 12, he filed paperwork naming a campaign treasurer — a precursor to raising money for a run.

• Sen. Marv Hagedorn, Meridian. Considering the race.

• Phil McGrane, a deputy Ada County clerk. Considering the race.

No Democrat has announced for the race.

There is, of course, an educational stake in this election. The winner gets one of five seats on the state Land Board — which sets policies for endowment lands. At roughly $31 million a year, public schools are the largest endowment beneficiary.

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]

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday