Idaho Politics

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

So far, five Republican candidates are jockeying to be Idaho's next lieutenant governor. We have a look at the candidates, the job and the latest financial numbers from their campaigns.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Tuesday, the U.S. Senate narrowly approved a motion to proceed with GOP health care legislation. Idaho’s two senators voted in favor of the motion. Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch both voted in favor of the motion, which required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence to proceed.

The vote fell along party lines, but two Republican senators dissented.

Butch Otter, Idaho Governor
Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is back in the hospital after undergoing two back surgeries.

Otter first underwent surgery for a ruptured disc July 7. According to his office, the governor went home the following day but was still experiencing numbness and pain in his back. After more tests, he went through a second surgery last Friday. He briefly went home Saturday but then quickly returned after developing infection symptoms.

state seal, legislature
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador sent Idaho voters a campaign mailer ornamented with the state seal asking for contributions to his 2018 gubernatorial bid, even though the secretary of state's office said Thursday the seal should only be used for official state business.

Labrador's fundraiser flier asked voters to give $50, $75, $100 or more in campaign donations. The mailer, sent out earlier this month, aimed to get people to pledge their support for Labrador's 2016 campaign promises to move America to a more conservative direction.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist has removed language from his campaign website promising to fight to protect Idaho's right to define marriage.

Ahlquist is the only gubernatorial candidate whose website includes a resolution to protect the "sanctity of marriage."

Melissa Wintrow for Idaho / via Facebook

State Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, sponsored successful legislation the last two years to change how police in Idaho handle, process and store what are known as "rape kits." The kits are used by investigators to preserve evidence of a sexual assault.

Boise State Public Radio

Leaders in the Idaho Legislature are assembling a working group to examine ethics and financial disclosure requirements in the state.

Idaho is one of just three states requiring no financial disclosures for state legislators, other elected officials, and government appointees. So-called “revolving door” laws that prevent officials from immediately hopping into similar roles in the private sector – those too are absent.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The field of candidates for Idaho’s Lt. Governor has again increased. There are now five GOP hopefuls seeking the position.

The former chairman of the state’s Republican Party, Steve Yates, is the most recent to throw a hat in the ring for Lt. Governor. The businessman from eastern Idaho previously served as an aid to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

Update 10:34 a.m. Thursday: Former Republican Lt. Governor David Leroy has filed paperwork to run for Labrador's seat. He is the first candidate to enter the race.

Earlier this week Republican Rep. Raul Labrador filed paperwork to run for Idaho governor, ending a long period of speculation about whether he would jump into the race. Now, political wonks are turning their attention to who might seek his congressional seat. 

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

After months of speculation, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador walked into the Idaho Secretary of State's office Tuesday morning and signed the paperwork to start his run for governor.

Idaho March for Science Facebook

Thousands plan to attend the national March for Science that takes place Saturday in Washington D.C. In Boise, Austin Hopkins is one of the people planning an Idaho version of the march.

Hopkins -- who is with Idaho Conservation League -- hopes Saturday’s march furthers a dialogue between politics and science in Idaho.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

The state legislature wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, less than a week after leadership had hoped to adjourn.

The minority party went into this legislative session on its heels after losing four seats in the November election. Out of 105 House and Senate members, only 17 were Democrats.

Charlie Litchfield / AP

The Idaho Legislature closed up shop and went home Wednesday. The session went five days longer than leadership had anticipated.

The session was notable for a few bills, including transportation funding and tax cuts, which were sticking points at the end of the session. Lawmakers also didn’t find a solution for the 78,000 Idahoans who fall in the Medicaid gap and don’t have health insurance.

Boise State Public Radio

Tommy Ahlquist is the third Republican to throw his hat in the race to be Idaho’s governor. He made his bid official Tuesday by filing the requisite paperwork for the 2018 race.

A member of the LDS church, Ahlquist is the Chief Operating Officer of the Gardner Company – the developer who has helped revitalized downtown Boise. Before working for Gardner, he was an emergency room doctor for almost two decades.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

We checked in with a few voters in Boise right after President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday night.

Republican Tyler Ricks actually voted for libertarian Gary Johnson last November. He wasn’t convinced candidate Trump would bring real change to Washington. But Ricks says he was happy to hear the president sound more – well – presidential.

“It was more calm," says Ricks. "And I think that came across – you know that he does truly care about Americans.”

He says Trump’s speech spoke to him directly.

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