About 25 backers, including a half-dozen GOP state lawmakers, joined former House Speaker Lawerence Denney in the Statehouse rotunda today to launch his campaign for Idaho Secretary of State. Flanked by family members including wife Donna, Denney said, “Donna and I have been prayerfully considering this move for quite some time … and we have decided that now is the time.” Denney said if elected, he’d work to stop the state Land Board from acquiring commercial property as part of the state endowment; address unspecified problems in Idaho elections that he said he’s heard about from people around the state; and oppose any move to a vote-by-mail system in Idaho. “Sure vote by mail is easier and it’s cheaper, but we cannot protect the integrity of the ballot,” he said.
Backers muttered “that’s right” and “Amen” as Denney spoke; they included a black-clad Tony Snesko of Idaho Open Carry, who wore a gun on his hip in a tooled leather holster; former state Rep. Bob Forrey; and current state lawmakers Judy Boyle, Russ Fulcher, Mike Moyle, Joe Palmer, Jason Monks, Mark Patterson and Paul Shepherd.
Fulcher said, “Lawerence is a personal friend. We always served together pretty close when he was speaker; I just think the world of him.” Fulcher is currently exploring a primary challenge to GOP Gov. Butch Otter.
Denney said before he began exploring a run, he met with current GOP Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and asked him “whether or not he was running, because I had heard that he was not, and his answer was that he was undecided, and I think he’s still undecided.”
Asked why he picked this position to run for, Denney, a farmer and ninth-term state lawmaker, said, “I think Secretary of State is a fit for me, and certainly, the rumor that was out there that the current secretary was not running weighed in our decision, so we started traveling and checking out the possibilities there, and that’s why we decided to do it.” Denney said for now, Boyle is the head of his campaign.