Moyle elected House speaker; Senate leadership unchanged

With the support of his Republican colleagues, Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, will be sworn in Thursday as Idaho’s newest speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives.

Star Republican Rep. Mike Moyle, House majority leader, speaks from the floor on Friday, March 18, 2022. Kyle Pfannenstiel/Idaho EdNews

Moyle, the long-serving majority leader of the House, is starting his 13th term. He takes the place of former speaker, Lt. Gov.-elect Scott Bedke.

Moyle beat Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian. Monks previously served as the assistant majority leader.

The speaker of the House oversees the House floor and is responsible for appointing House committee chairs and members.

Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, is the new majority leader, taking Moyle’s prior seat. She previously served as  majority caucus chair. Blanksma beat Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens.

Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, is the new assistant majority leader, taking Monks’ prior seat. Dixon beat Rep. Jon Weber, R-Rexburg, for the post. Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, is the new caucus chair.

Senate GOP leadership remains unchanged

In the Senate, majority leadership remains unchanged, according to Majority Caucus Chairman Mark Harris. Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, will remain president pro tempore. Winder fended off a challenge from Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian.

Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, held her seat as assistant majority leader, defeating challenger Ben Adams, R-Nampa. Adams served one term in the House before running for the Senate this year.

Senate Majority Leader Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, survived a challenge from Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Viola, while Harris, R-Soda Springs, was unchallenged.

Democratic leadership elections

Democratic members of the Idaho Legislature selected their party leaders Tuesday with some changes before the 2023 legislative session.

Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, replaces Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, as Senate minority leader, after Stennett did not seek re-election.

Rep. James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, who was elected to the Senate in November, was elected assistant minority leader.

Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, was elected minority caucus chair, a position she has held since 2020.

In the House, Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, holds her position as House minority leader, as does Rep. Lauren Necochea, D-Boise, the assistant minority leader.

Rep. Ned Burns, D-Bellevue, was elected as minority caucus chair for the first time, replacing Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, who did not run for re-election.

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