Idaho Republicans Sweep Statewide Elections

Nov 4, 2014

Republicans Sen. Jim Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson congratulate each other on a successful election. Simpson was elected to his ninth term, Risch, his second.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated on Nov. 5 at 7:50 a.m.

Idaho Republicans have swept the state's top elected offices and seats in Congress. In addition to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter being elected to a rare consecutive three-year term, every down-ticket race also went to Otter's Republican colleagues.

Secretary of State

Republican Lawerence Denney will replace outgoing Ben Ysursa as Idaho's secretary of state. Denney defeated House freshman and Democratic challenger Holli Woodings for the job that oversees Idaho's election process and business registrations.

Treasurer

Republican Ron Crane has won a fifth term as Idaho treasurer, defeating Democratic challenger and political newcomer Deborah Silver. The race was put in the spotlight after a legislative audit found that Crane inappropriately transferred taxpayer funds during the Great Recession that ended up costing taxpayers $10.2 million. Crane repeatedly denied the report's findings.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race for Idaho schools chief, but the Idaho Statesman has called the election for Republican Sherri Ybarra. As the Statesman reports, Ybarra's challenger Jana Jones started the night ahead, but will finish slightly behind the political newcomer.

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This story was originally posted on Nov. 4 at 9:18 p.m. 

The polls are now closed in the state of Idaho.  

The Associated Press wasted little time in calling its first race of the night. It projects Republican Sen. Jim Risch as the winner over Democratic challenger Nels Mitchell.  

Risch is an attorney and longtime state senator who briefly served as Idaho governor before he was first elected to Congress in 2008. 

Mitchell had criticized Risch for failing to work with Democrats in Congress and said the incumbent had lost touch with Idaho.

But voters solidly supported Risch, who is known as one of the most conservative members of the Senate. Risch has said his focus will be to continue reining in what he believes to be an excessive federal government.

Risch has been the lead sponsor on two bills that have become law, both dealing with small water projects in southern Idaho.

The AP has also declared Rep. Mike Simpson a winner. He'll go on to serve a ninth term in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District after defeating Democratic challenger Richard Stallings.

Tuesday's election is the second time the two opponents have faced off for the same congressional seat.

Stallings held the seat from 1985 to 1993. However, he lost to Simpson by 8 percent in 1998.

The 2nd District encompasses the eastern half of the state and is home to farms and ranches, the Idaho National Laboratory nuclear facility, and the churches and temples representing a strong presence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The AP projects Rep. Raul Labrador a winner, too. He beat Democratic state lawmaker Shirley Ringo. That means Idaho's Congressional delegation will be remain the same through at least 2016. 

The AP is also reporting that Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has been elected to another term. He beat Democrat Bruce Bistline. 

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little won another term over Democrat Bert Marley.