IDAHO — With the Primary Election rapidly approaching, Idaho News 6 is highlighting some of the key races you should know about as you fill out your ballot.
The lieutenant governor role in Idaho made headlines this year and now multiple candidates are vying for the job. One of the candidates includes the current Speaker of the House Scott Bedke.
“I get results. I'm a problem solver. I don't have a lot of empty rhetoric,” Bedke said. “I always under promise and over deliver and I think that that's what our state needs at this point.”
Bedke has been a fixture at the Idaho statehouse for almost two decades. After serving a record five terms as speaker of the house, he is eyeing the lieutenant governor title.
“I leave a family business to come and be in the legislature. And I feel like that if I'm going to be away from that business, and the problems that that creates, because we're just not there, then I need to give it my all,” Bedke said.
So why make the jump now? Bedke said redistricting gives him a chance for a clean break and he wants to continue serving the state as it grapples with growth.
“We've got to be making carefully targeted investments back into our all of our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our schools," Bedke said. "But we always got to do that as we live within the taxpayer's means. I think my experience in all of those areas distinguishes me from the rest of the field right now.”
Historically, Idaho's governor and lieutenant governor have worked closely together, despite being elected separately — but Idaho's current republican leaders haven't agreed completely. Bedke says, if he takes office, he wants to restore that relationship.
“As your next Lieutenant Governor, I will never embarrass the state of Idaho," Bedke said. “As I talked to Idahoans, they're not too worried about the factions in in the party, the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, they're concerned about pocketbook issues. They're concerned about the price of gasoline, they're concerned about the price of everything that they buy, they want their kids to be well educated, they want their state to be preparing for the future.”
After decades of leadership in the statehouse, what will Bedke do if he loses?
“I have a very comfortable, rewarding life to go back to, should I not win, but I will win and we need to all be looking forward to Idaho's future,” Bedke said. “We're at the crossroads, we're going to have the issues in each of those areas of roads, schools, tax policy, natural resource policy, and I think I'm uniquely positioned to help in each of those areas. But I can't sit still for long, and I'll be doing something.”
The primary is May 17th and voters can head to the polls to fill out their ballots or drop them off in one of the blue absentee boxes around the valley.
Idaho News 6 reached out to other candidates in the race for lieutenant governor including Republican Rep. Priscilla Giddings of Whitebird, but her campaign did not respond to multiple emails.