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Two upstart politicians hope to unseat Rep. Mike Simpson in Tuesday's primary

Many have challenged Simpson since he took office in 1999 and all have failed. Here's why his opponents say he may be vulnerable this time around.
Posted at 11:01 AM, May 17, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson faces two challengers in Tuesday's primary. Scott Cleveland and Sean Higgins hope to unseat the long-time congressman.

(verbatim of story that aired below)

The District 2 congressional race pits a longtime politician against two relative newcomers to the political scene.

Congressman Mike Simpson has been in his current post since 1999.

Upstarts Scott Cleveland and Sean Higgins say it’s time for a change.

The argument against Mike Simpson has rarely changed in recent years. His opponents try to make him out to be a career politician who doesn’t listen to his constituents. Still, he keeps winning in landslides. So, what’s different this year?

Higgins: “I think he’s not listening that’s what I get from talking to voters.

Cleveland: “He votes like a Democrat most of the time and he is leading the charge and insisting on removing the Snake River dams. That’s going to be his undoing.”

Sean Higgins is an IT professional.

Scott Cleveland is a financial adviser.

Cleveland says this is a two-horse race.

Cleveland: “There’s a third guy on the ballot he’s just some young guy who lives in an apartment here.”

But Higgins says don’t count him out.

“I’m a regular guy, I tend to listen. I do listen that’s the whole point of this position is Congress represents the people.”

Cleveland says polling shows a big decline in Mike Simpson’s approval rating and the time is right for a change.

Simpson says he keeps getting reelected because he gets the job done.

“As a senior appropriator being able to make sure that Some of the tax dollars that are your tax dollars that are being spent and would be spent in blue states like New York or California actually come back to improve the lives in Idaho to do some things that are very important in Idaho.”

Among the big issues for all three candidates include securing the border, improving the economy, and cutting spending.

Don’t forget, Idaho News 6 will have comprehensive coverage of the primary election night, online and on air. I’m senior reporter Roland Beres, Idaho News 6.