It’s candidate filings Friday: Who’s running?

(UPDATED, Sunday, March 13.)

Filings Friday brought some big-name non-surprises.

On the last day of the campaign filing period, Gov. Brad Little turned in his paperwork for a second term, and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin formally entered the gubernatorial race.

The Friday morning filings — which came about 90 minutes apart — makes official a long-awaited Republican primary showdown. Little and McGeachin have publicly sparred during the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rhetoric has only intensified since May, when McGeachin announced her candidacy.

(More news about Friday’s Republican gubernatorial filings from Clark Corbin of the Idaho Capital Sun.)

But there were other plot twists in the governor’s race.

Dr. Ryan Cole — a polarizing pathologist who has downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic and questioned COVID-19 vaccines, but sits on the Central District Health board — filed initial paperwork for a gubernatorial run Friday, Audrey Dutton of the Idaho Capital Sun reported. He said he was planning to run on the Constitution Party ticket, according to Idaho Dispatch.

But late Friday, Cole’s name did not appear on the secretary of state’s office’s candidate list — and Sandpoint mayor and announced Democratic candidate Shelby Rognstad wasn’t on the list either. According to state public records, Rognstad is a registered Republican, so he cannot appear on the Democratic Party ticket, Melissa Davlin of “Idaho Reports” reported Saturday.

“There were two candidates for governor, both of whom had filing declarations that did not line up with their current voter registration,” Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck told Davlin Saturday morning.

Cole is registered as an unaffiliated voter, Davlin reported.

According to the secretary of state’s office — and a list posted at 8:40 p.m. Friday — 13 candidates have officially entered the governor’s race:

  • Steven Bradshaw, Republican, Cocolalla.
  • Ben Cannady, Republican, Boise.
  • Ed Humphreys, Republican, Eagle.
  • Ashley Jackson, Republican, Preston.
  • Little.
  • McGeachin.
  • Lisa Marie, Republican, Eagle.
  • Cody Usabel, Republican, Meridian.
  • Stephen Heidt, Democrat, Marsing.
  • Ammon Bundy, independent, Emmett.
  • John Dionne Jr., Libertarian, Boise.
  • Paul Sand, Libertarian, White Bird.
  • Chantyrose Davison, Constitution, Marsing.

Lieutenant governor

Five candidates are seeking to replace McGeachin as lieutenant governor: House Speaker Scott Bedke, Republican, Oakley; Rep. Priscilla Giddings, Republican, White Bird; Daniel Gasiorowski, Republican, Placerville; Terri Pickens Manweiler, Democrat, Boise; Pro-Life (formerly known as Marvin Richardson), Constitution, Emmett.

Superintendent of public instruction

The field in this race hasn’t changed since mid-week. Mountain Home Republican Sherri Ybarra is seeking a third term. She faces two opponents in the GOP primary: former State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield, Oakley; and former legislator Branden Durst, Garden City. Former Idaho Education Association President Terry Gilbert of Boise is the sole Democrat in the race.

(For more statewide filings, click here for the state’s official candidates’ list.)


All 105 legislative seats are on the ballot this fall.

And regardless of what happens, there will be big changes.

Nine of Idaho’s 35 sitting senators are not seeking re-election, because they are retiring or seeking another office.

Meanwhile, 22 of Idaho’s 70 House members will not be back — because they are retiring or running for another office. That includes nine House members who are running for state Senate.

And the redistricting process has created six head-to-head matchups involving incumbents:

  • Senate, District 6: Sen. Robert Blair, R-Kendrick; Sen. David Nelson, D-Moscow; Dan Foreman, Republican, Viola; Jen Seegmiller, Republican, Moscow; James Hartley, Constitution, Moscow.
  • Senate, District 9: Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland; Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell; Kayla Dunn, Republican, Boise; Jordan Marques, Republican, Payette.
  • House Seat B, District 9: Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale; Rep. Scott Syme, R-Wilder.
  • Senate, District 14: Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle; Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett; Katie Donahue, Republican, Emmett; Kirsten Faith Richardson, Constitution, Emmett; Robert Imhoff, Libertarian, Eagle.
  • Senate, District 15: Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise; Rep. Codi Galloway, R-Boise; Dorothy Greenzang, Republican, Boise; Rick Just, Democrat, Boise; Sarah Clendenon, Constitution, Boise.
  • House Seat A, District 22: Rep. Greg Ferch, R-Boise; Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Meridian; Natalie Maclachlan, Democrat, Boise.

(For more in-depth filings news, follow our Election Notes feature.)

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]

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