6 GOP Idaho lawmakers lose to primary challengers

Posted at 12:15 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 14:15:55-04

Six GOP legislators lost to their primary opponents in Tuesday's primary election, creating a surprising shakeup in key leadership seats in Idaho's Republican-dominated Statehouse.

Most notably, House Education Committee Chairwoman Julie VanOrden -- a Republican from Pingree -- and House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher -- an Iona Republican who has served nearly 30 years in the Legislature -- were ousted by their political newcomer challengers.

No Democratic lawmakers lost their primary in Tuesday's election.

Legislative leaders won't decide who will fill the now-empty committee seats until after the November general election.

Currently, there are chair vacancies for Idaho's powerful joint-budget setting committee, House education panel, House local government panel, House environmental and energy panel, and both the Senate and House state affairs committees due to either incumbents retiring or losing their elected positions.

(by Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press)