Conservative Rep. Lawerence Denney of Midvale was elected speaker of the Idaho House tonight after a close-fought race with moderate Rep. Bill Deal of Nampa. Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, lost his own leadership bid for assistant majority leader in the House to Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. “You win some, you lose some,” Clark said. “Scott’s a great guy – he’ll do a wonderful job.”
Denney, a farmer who’s starting his sixth term in the House, declined to comment after the vote, because his new role as speaker won’t be official until the full House votes on it in the morning at the official organizational session. Deal also declined to comment.
“I think the tone has been very good,” said new House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, who ran unopposed for that position. “Bill Deal was very gracious in giving his support to Lawerence.”
Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “I’m proud of ‘em all. It was very civil.”