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How the next legislative session could be impacted after incumbent lawmakers face defeat in Primary

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 4:48 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 19:30:07-04

IDAHO — A few incumbent candidates came out ahead in last night’s primary election claiming their spot on the November General Election ballot.

Gov. Brad Little quickly took the lead over competitors in the race for the governor nomination and edged out Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.

Speaker of the House Scott Bedke also claimed victory against Rep. Priscilla Giddings in the race for the lieutenant governor nomination.

But, it was a rough night for some incumbents seeking re-election in statewide and district races. About 20 different candidates fell short in votes and lost nominations for the General Election.

Five-term incumbent Lawrence Wasden lost to Raul Labrador in the battle for the Attorney General nomination and incumbent State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra received the least amount of votes in her race.

Redistricting changed most districts in Idaho and could have had a potential impact on how many incumbent lawmakers failed to get the votes.

“In a redistricting year, you have incumbents who often are forced to run against each other and we had a few situations like that so when you have that situation you are guaranteed to lose an incumbent, “Boise State political science professor Charles Hunt said.

Incumbent lawmakers battled it out for the nomination in districts across Idaho the difference in votes could come down to name recognition and ideologies of candidates.

“In a state like Idaho you end up with a lot of these ideological challenges and there were a lot of them last night from the far right with incumbents, for the most part, tending to represent the more traditional republican," Hunt said.

“The citizens of Idaho understand politics and understand that extremism has no place in politics and so I think the citizens of Idaho have spoken quite clearly that that kind of extremism in politics isn’t going to be allowed here,” former deputy Ada County Sheriff Scott Johnson said.

Aside from the statewide races, the largest upset came from the Senate side, where 11 incumbents lost their bid for re-election which could potentially reshape the legislature's future.

“Although Chuck Winder did win renomination, many of his fellow senate incumbents did not. I think it was notable in the last legislative session we saw the senate serve as kind of a firewall of sorts against a farther right house side.”

Things could shift in the house too as long-time Speaker of the House Scott Bedke snagged the lieutenant governor nomination leaving his old seat behind.

“What happens next there is also going to create a seismic shift in the house where Bedke has had a fair amount of control for some time,” Hunt said.

To see a full list of election results and exactly who got the nomination in your district click here.