The Idaho Press-Tribune reports today that former state Sen. Melinda Smyser will not run for state superintendent of schools; current Superintendent Tom Luna, in response to questioning from reporters after he announced that he won’t seek re-election, had said he’d talked with her about a possible run, but wasn’t endorsing anyone. “While I am flattered that he and many others would feel I am qualified to take on the challenge of succeeding him in this office, I am going to ... decline the opportunity,” Smyser said in a news release submitted to the newspaper. Smyser is currently a regional director for U.S. Sen. Jim Risch. “It’s very fulfilling for me personally to help the citizens of Idaho work through the many issues they have with the federal government on behalf of Senator Risch,” she said.
Two Republicans and one Democrat already are running for the open seat: Republicans Randy Jensen of American Falls and John Eynon of Cottonwood, and Democrat Jana Jones, former chief deputy superintendent.