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Prof: Simpson’s win tonight fits with Idaho history

Mike Simpson’s win over tea party primary challenger Bryan Smith tonight fits with Idaho history, according to Eric Ostermeier, professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and author of the “Smart Politics” blog. Here’s why: Since 1918, all but one Idaho congressman who’s run for re-election has won in the primary. The only exception was Orval Hansen in 1974, who was defeated by former Rep. George Hansen. Since then, Idaho has seen a solid streak of 34 straight U.S. House incumbents winning renomination in their primary elections.

Ostermeier notes that three other Idaho congressmen lost their party’s nominations prior to 1918; they were three-term Republican Burton French in 1908 (to Thomas Hamer), Thomas Hamer as a freshman in 1910 (to French), and freshman GOPer Robert McCracken in 1916 (with French and Addison Smith winning nominations to the state's two at-large seats). You can read Ostermeier’s full post here.

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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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