Stegner said, “I haven’t made a decision. … I still consider it to be early. I’m still evaluating the field, I’m talking to people and getting opinions from individuals on my candidacy.” He noted, “Obviously, one of the negatives is you have to give up an Idaho Senate seat to run for Congress, and that is one of any number of considerations that I have to give this.” Stegner, a retired grain dealer who’s in his fourth term in the Senate, is currently the assistant majority leader.
Smyser, now a prominent lobbyist, ran for the 1st District seat in 1990, but lost to Democrat Larry LaRocco, who served two terms. Smyser, a Republican, also served in the state Senate from 1983 to 1990 and was Senate Transportation chairman. He’s been rumored to be considering the open race for the seat being vacated by current Rep. Butch Otter’s run for governor, and admitted he finds it “tempting,” but said he’s trying to stay away from such prospects, and is figuratively on a “12-step program” to kick the political-aspirations habit.