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Hart to have five challengers

Sat., March 10, 2012

In Idaho’s upcoming elections, North Idaho’s most Republican legislative district will have a Democratic challenger vying for every seat.

No Democrat has run for the Legislature in the district since 2002, when there was just one Democratic candidate, who lost; the last one elected was in 1994. But this year, former Kootenai County Clerk Dan English, who for many years was the only Democrat elected in Kootenai County, is running.

English is running against tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. Hart, who filed Friday to seek a fifth term in the state House, also faces four challengers in the GOP primary: 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 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, Rep. Vito Barbieri and Sen. Steve Vick, both Republicans from Dalton Gardens, would face Democrats Cheryl Stransky of Dalton Gardens and Shirley McFaddan of Athol, respectively, if they defeat their GOP primary opponents.

In the primary, Barbieri has drawn a challenge from Mark Fisher, a former local Rotary Club president, while Vick is being challenged by former Sen. Mike Jorgenson, who wants to take back his old seat.

Friday was the filing deadline. A complete list of candidates in North Idaho legislative districts and Kootenai County will be printed Sunday.

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