Idaho official says candidacy valid
Senator wants challenger dropped from ballot over voter status
BOISE – A North Idaho senator’s initial attempt to get his primary challenger tossed off the ballot has failed, but Sen. Mike Jorgenson says he’s not giving up.
Jorgenson, R-Hayden, last week filed a complaint with the Idaho secretary of state’s office saying that his GOP challenger, Steven Vick, a former Montana legislator now living in Dalton Gardens, is unqualified for the ballot because of a 2006 voter registration glitch.
Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said Monday, “He appears to be a registered voter in Idaho for the requisite amount of time, at least one year prior to the election, and that’s where we’re going from here. We’re not going to take any action to remove.”
Jorgenson’s Boise attorney, Jason Risch, said that if the complaint is rejected, he’ll take it to court. “The senator has requested me to seek that judicial enforcement to preserve the integrity of the process,” Risch said.
Vick said, “I think he’s grasping at straws. I’m not exactly sure even what his complaint is about – I mean, this just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Vick, a former four-term Montana state representative, moved to Idaho in 2004. In 2006, he moved back to Montana, switched back his voter registration, and ran for a seat on the state Public Service Commission. After finishing second in a four-way GOP primary, he decided to move back to the same Idaho address after just a few months. When he went in to update his Idaho voter registration, he was told it was still current; he then voted in Idaho elections from then on.
“That was the last time I thought about it until last Friday,” Vick said.
Kootenai County Clerk Dan English said, “This just sounds like a unique set of circumstances that a guy moved away and then came back to the same spot.” Vick currently is registered in Idaho and not in Montana, English said.
Vick said he was recruited to run against Jorgenson by the two state representatives from Jorgenson’s District 3: Reps. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, and Phil Hart, R-Athol.
“We’ve had some disagreements,” Jorgenson said.