Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Former Republican Sen. John McGee's Senate exit is bleeding into a fight over leadership of the chamber's dominant GOP faction for 2013. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is being challenged by Sen. Dean Mortimer for the No. 2 position in Wednesday's secret vote. The two Idaho Falls lawmakers would seem natural allies. However, the Idaho Statesman reports dissatisfaction in the caucus over Davis' handling of the McGee affair. Davis remained a McGee ally, despite the Caldwell lawmaker's 2011 drunken-driving conviction. Meanwhile, Mortimer was among nine senators who said publicly they tried to oust McGee as majority caucus chair in a closed-door vote in January ― just weeks before sexual-harassment allegations ended McGee's career.
Davis declined comment to The Associated Press on Saturday; Mortimer couldn't be reached. There are two other leadership races in the Senate. Curt McKenzie of Nampa is challenging Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder of Boise, and Steve Bair of Blackfoot takes on Majority Caucus Leader Russ Fulcher of Meridian, who was elected to the leadership post when McGee quit in February.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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