Idaho voters go to the polls to cast ballots in the primaries tomorrow. This is the first time you have to declare a party and a first for the Republicans to actually hold a closed primary. Boise State Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief is watching several legislative districts, including the District 18 Senate race. Matthew Duncan and former legislator Branden Durst are head to head in the Democratic primary. One of them will challenge Mitch Toryanski (R-Boise) on the Republican side. Moncrief says this district 18 race is competitive given that the district has historically been a Democratic one. “Until 2010 when Toryanski beat Durst by just a few hundred votes in that, I think because of the votes on the education bills, etc., I think a lot of people see that as a potential pick-up for the Democrats.”
In District 19, Democrat Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) is leaving her House seat to make a run for the Senate spot which opened when fellow Democrat Nicole LeFavor (D-Boise) decided to challenge U-S Congressman Mike Simpson. Brian Cronin (D-Boise), the other Idaho House member in District 19 also stepped down, leaving both spots open for new challengers. “And there are actually I think three candidates running in the Democratic primary for both the House A and House B race," says Moncrief. "Any Democrat that really wants to serve is gonna run there because the Democrats almost always win in District 19.”
Other races to watch include Eagle’s District 14 where two Republicans are vying for a chance to represent that district in the statehouse. Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-Meridian) is running against former legislator Stan Bastian. Moncrief predicts that will be a very close race.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio