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.
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.
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• 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.