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Regional News

Early returns: Little likely winner in GOP gubernatorial primary

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Boise State Public Radio
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Based on early returns, Idaho’s incumbent governor, Brad Little, appeared poised to carry the Republican banner in his re-election bid this fall.

For much of the night, Little led the crowded Republican field by a sizable margin. Around 10:40 p.m., Little addressed a GOP election night party in Boise. He thanked the party’s voters for supporting his bid for a second term.

He also alluded to the challenges mounted by right-wing candidates in this year’s gubernatorial primary, including the state’s current lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin. Little said Idaho Republicans agree on 90 percent of issues, such as government regulation and economic growth. And he said the party is big enough to hold divergent opinions.

Going into primary day, Little had far outraised his opponents in the race. As of last week, his campaign had reported a haul of more than $2 million. McGeachin had raised a little more than $700,000. Little also refused to participate in a gubernatorial debate before the primary, saying his record in office was “undebatable.”

On the Democratic side, Stephen Heidt was the only name listed on the ballot; Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad didn’t update his party registration in time to make it, so he ran as a Democratic write-in candidate. It may take a few days to fully tabulate those votes.