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Eye On Boise

Mon., Sept. 26, 2011, 10:49 a.m.

As for the incumbents, L-83 would force 6 Senate faceoffs, 9 in House

I filed an Idaho Public Records Act request for the impact of the new proposed legislative redistricting, L-83, on existing legislative incumbents, and here's what my analysis of that data shows: The plan would force six face-offs among Senate incumbents, and would create nine House districts that have three incumbents, who would vie for just two seats. It also would create six open Senate seats and nine open House seats, with no incumbent.

Here are the potential face-offs: Sens. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, and Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, both would be in the new District 1. In the new District 2, there would be three House incumbents: Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens; Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d'Alene; and Phil Hart, R-Athol. The new District 7 also would have three House incumbents: Reps. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries; Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton; and Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins.

The new District 9 would include three current GOP House incumbents: Reps. Carlos Bilbao, Ken Roberts and Steven Thayn, but would have an open Senate seat. The new District 11 would see a face-off between sitting Sens. John McGee, R-Caldwell, and Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston. The new District 13 would have three GOP House incumbents: Reps. Gary Collins, Christy Perry and Bob Schaefer.

In the new District 16, there would be face-offs for both Senate and House seats. Sens. John Andreason, R-Boise, and Les Bock, D-Boise, both fall into that district; as do Reps. Max Black, R-Boise; Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City; and Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise. District 23 also would see face-offs in both houses, with GOP Sens. Bert Brackett and Tim Corder both in that district, along with GOP Reps. Pete Nielsen, Jim Patrick and Rich Wills.

Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chairman of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, lands in a new District 25 that also includes Reps. Sharon Block, R-Twin Falls, and Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls. In the new District 27, the other JFAC co-chairman, Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, faces off with longtime Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, if both want to remain office; also in that district, there are three GOP House incumbents: Reps. Scott Bedke, Bert Stevenson and Fred Wood.

In District 31, GOP Sens. Bart Davis and Steven Bair would be forced into a face-off if both wanted to stay in office. In District 32, there are three GOP House incumbents: Reps. Janice McGeachin, Erik Simpson and Jeff Thompson.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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