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Idaho candidates finish filing for 2022 elections

Screenshot from Idaho Secretary of State website
The primary races for governor and lieutenant governor figure to be very competitive.

Several statewide races feature high profile candidates

Idaho’s governor has a formidable challenger in the state’s May primary election. Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin this week filed to run for the Republican nomination for the state’s highest office against Brad Little, who is seeking a second term. McGeachin represents the activist wing of the Republican Party; Little is more of a traditional conservative.

The filing period closed for candidates late Friday afternoon.

Thirteen people filed to run for governor, including activist Ammon Bundy, who filed as an independent. His name will not appear on the May ballot because he’s not in a contested race. It will appear on the November ballot.

Eight Republicans filed, include one north Idaho man, Steven Bradshaw from Cocolalla. Stephen Heidt from Marsing was the only Democrat to file. Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad had announced his intention to run as a Democrat, but his name is not on the unofficial candidate list released by the Secretary of State’s office Friday evening.

Five people have filed to run to replace McGeachin as Lieutenant Governor. Three are Republicans, including state House Speaker Scott Bedke [R-Oakley] and Rep. Priscilla Giddings [R-White Bird]. Bedke represents the traditional conservative wing of the GOP. Giddings is part of a group of Republicans that’s trying to steer the party toward more populist positions. The lone Democrat is Terry Pickens Manweiler from Boise.

Republican Attorney General Lawrence Wasden faces two primary challengers in former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Coeur d’Alene attorney Art Macomber. Democrat Steven Scanlin from Boise is the only Democrat.

Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is also facing primary challenges from the former president of the state board of education, Debbie Critchfield, and from former state legislator Branden Durst. The lone Democrat to file is Terry Gilbert.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney is stepping away from his position. Four candidates seek to replace him. They are Rep. Dorothy Moon [R-Stanley] and Sen. Mary Souza [R-Coeur d’Alene] and Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, all seeking the Republican nomination, and Democrat Shawn Keenan from Coeur d’Alene.

State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth and Controller Brandon Woolf are both running unopposed for their Republican Party nominations, though both have challengers in other parties.

In north Idaho legislative races, most of the incumbents are running for re-election, though Rep. Heather Scott [R-Blanchard] now lives in a newly-formed District 2, rather than District 1. She’s running unopposed.

In District 1, Sen. Jim Woodward [R-Sagle] faces a primary challenger in Scott Herndon and Rep. Sage Dixon [R-Ponderay} is challenged by Todd Engel. Six candidates, including five Republicans, are running for open House seat in District 1.

In District 2, three Republicans are running for state senator, including former Rep. Phil Hart, whose political career includes a dispute and settlement with the IRS over Hart’s tax payments. Also in the race are former Shoshone County Commissioner Jon Cantamessa and Republican Bill Hasz. Three people are running for the district’s other House seat: Democrat Tom Stroschein, Republican Dale Hawkins and Libertarian candidate JenniferAnn Luoma. All will run unopposed in the primary.

In District 3, Rep. Doug Okuniewicz [R-Hayden] looks to move to the state Senate. Rep. Vito Barbieri [R-Dalton Gardens] seeks re-election. Three Republicans, Tim Kastning, Jordan Redman and Rick Small, are looking to fill the other House seat.

In District 4, two Republicans are vying to replace Sen. Mary Souza, Tara Malek and Ben Toews. Republican Reps. Paul Amador and Jim Addis both face challengers in their bids to keep their seats.

In District 5, Sen. Peter Riggs [R-Post Falls] faces primary challengers Carl Bjerke and Vicki Null-Carey. Reps. Ron Mendive and Tony Wisniewski must also beat fellow Republicans to win re-election.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.