In Idaho’s upcoming elections, North Idaho’s most-Republican legislative district will have a Democratic challenger vying for every seat.
No Democrat has even run for the Legislature in the district since 2002, when there was just one candidate, who lost; the last one elected was in 1994. But this year, there’s a high-profile Democrat running, former Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, who for many years was the only Democratic elected official in Kootenai County.
English is running against tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and he’s not the only one. Hart, who filed Friday to seek a fifth term in the state House, also faces four challengers in the GOP primary: Longtime local real estate appraiser and Hayden businessman Ed Morse; Hayden City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange; former lawmaker Ron Vieselmeyer; and Fritz Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum.
The district, which is the new District 2 for the upcoming elections but was District 3 for the past 10 years, includes Hayden, Hayden Lake, the Rathdrum Prairie, Spirit Lake and Athol.
The other two incumbents in the district, Hart allies Rep. Vito Barbieri and Sen. Steve Vick, both Republicans from Dalton Gardens, would face Democrats Cheryl Stransky of Dalton Gardens, running against Barbieri, and Shirley McFaddan of Athol, challenging Vick, if they defeat their GOP primary opponents.
In the primary, Barbieri has drawn a challenge from longtime Hayden businessman and former local Rotary Club president Mark Fisher, while Vick is being challenged by former Sen. Mike Jorgenson, who’s making a run at taking back his old seat.
Friday was the filing deadline both for state legislative and county races; here are the candidates who filed for other North Idaho Panhandle legislative seats:
Idaho Senate, District 1: Incumbent Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint; GOP challenger Danielle Ahrens; Democratic challenger Laura Bry.
Idaho House, District 1A: Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake; GOP challenger Donna Capurso; Democratic challenger Andrew Sorg.
Idaho House, District 1B: Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover; GOP challenger Pam Stout; and Democratic challenger and former lawmaker Tim Tucker.
Idaho Senate, District 3: Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces a challenge from Democrat Kristy Reed Johnson in his bid to switch to the Senate.
Idaho House, District 2: Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, faces challenges from Republican Jack Schroeder and Democrat Ronald Johnson; for Nonini’s former seat, three Republicans are vying: Fred Meckel, Ron Mendive and Jeff Tyler, along with Democrat David Larsen.
Idaho Senate, District 4: Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces Democratic challenger Warren Ducote Jr. and Independent Jeremy Boggess.
Idaho House, District 4: For the open Seat A, Republicans Luke Malek and Jeff Ames, Democrat Janet Callen and Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz are running. In Seat B, Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces Democratic challenger Anne Nesse.
Idaho Senate, District 5: Two Republicans are vying for the chance to take on Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow: Gresham Bouma and Barrett Schroeder.
Idaho House, District 5: Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, faces the winner of a three-way GOP primary between Ken DeVries, Bob Hassoldt and Joe Steele; for the open Seat A, Democrats Paulette Jordan and Jim Stivers are running, as is Republican Cindy Agidius.
Idaho Senate, District 7: In this new district that runs from southeastern Bonner County south to Idaho County, Shoshone County Commissioner Jon Cantamessa has filed as an independent to challenge Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood; she also faces a GOP primary challenge from Mary Wade Heston of Kellogg.
Idaho House, District 7: Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, faces two GOP challengers: Rex Rammell and Ed Galloway. In Seat B, Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, faces Democratic challenger James Paradiso.