Lt. Gov. Brad Little has endorsed Phil McGrane in the four-way Republican primary contest for Idaho Secretary of State, saying he “rarely, if ever” endorses candidates in the primary, “But the circumstances of this election are different.” In a statement, Little said, “ In a crowded field for the office of Secretary of State and limited access to resources for all of them, voters may not have the opportunity to learn enough about these candidates, and so my colleagues and I are stepping forward with our shared opinion. The office of Secretary of State is a critical one. We all agree the Secretary of State must be someone who is fair, evenhanded, strong of character, and who possesses the expertise necessary to serve in this office. We believe the candidate best suited to this position is Phil McGrane.”
McGrane faces former House Speaker Lawerence Denney, former Sen. Evan Frasure and former Sen. Mitch Toryanski in the May 20 GOP primary; the winner will face Democrat Holli Woodings in November. In addition to Little, McGrane announced endorsements today from nine GOP lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Denney, announced endorsements from 10 current North Idaho GOP lawmakers, led by Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and six former ones. Vick said in a statement, “I support Lawerence because of his integrity and his extensive knowledge of natural resource issues. These qualities will serve him well in his responsibilities in overseeing our elections and his responsibilities on the Land Board.”
The endorsement announcements are just the latest in the race; among notable ones announced earlier: Current Secretary of State Ben Ysursa endorsed McGrane; 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador endorsed Denney; Freda Cenarrusa, widow of former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, endorsed Toryanski; and Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis endorsed Frasure.
The Secretary of State is Idaho’s chief elections officer, and also oversees corporate filings, campaign finance and lobbying disclosures, registries including health care directives, wills and more, and serves on the Land Board, the Board of Examiners, and the Board of Canvassers.