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Monday, January 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Last-minute filings set up competitive races in Idaho’s May primary

BOISE – A flurry of last-minute filings late Friday set up an array of contested races in Idaho’s May 17 primary election, including a six-way race for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Jim Jones isn’t seeking re-election. The list of those filing for his seat includes current Idaho Court of Appeals Judge Sergio Gutierrez; longtime Deputy Attorney General Clive Strong; Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa; Boise attorney Breck Seiniger; Rupert attorney Robyn Brody; and attorney Christ Troupis, who unsuccessfully challenged Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in the 2014 GOP primary.

Idaho elects its Supreme Court justices to six-year-terms at its May primary election, but if no candidate gets a majority, the top two would go to a runoff in the November general election.

Supreme Court justices must be at least 30 years old when elected; a citizen of the United States; have been admitted to practice law for at least 10 years prior to taking office; be admitted to practice law in the state of Idaho; and have lived in the state for at least two years. They are elected statewide.

Friday filings also bumped up the number of candidates seeking Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat to half a dozen. They include incumbent Republican Raul Labrador; Democratic challenger James Piotrowski; two other hopefuls who live in Idaho and two more who live in California.

Out-of-state candidates can legally file because to run for Congress in Idaho, a candidate only has to be an Idaho resident by the day of the general election. So Democrat Shizandra Fox of Glen Ellen, California, and Republican Isaac Haugen of Santa Rosa, California, can run, as can Democrat Staniela Nikolova of Moscow, Idaho, and Republican Gordon Counsil of Caldwell, Idaho.

Other Friday filings included a Democratic challenger for Sen. Mike Crapo, Boise businessman Jerry Sturgill. Two Constitution Party candidates, Roy Writz and Pro-Life, who formerly was known as Marvin Richardson until his legal name change, also have filed for a chance to run against Crapo. But the third-term GOP senator will be unopposed in the May primary.

Among North Idaho lawmakers facing primary challenges in May are Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, who faces a challenge from Glenn Rohrer of Priest River; Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, who will face Fritz Wiedenhoff of Rathdrum in the primary; and Eric Redman, R-Athol, who will face Alan Littlejohn of Athol in the primary.

Rep. Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, will face Peter Riggs of Coeur d’Alene, brother of former Idaho Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs. Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces Art Macomber of Coeur d’Alene in the primary. And Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, faces Paul Amador of Coeur d’Alene in May.

There’s a two-way race among Republicans for a shot at challenging Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer, in November between Bill Goesling of Moscow and Carl Berglund of Kendrick.

Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, faces a primary challenge from former Idaho Cattle Association President Carl Crabtree of Grangeville; and Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, will face Priscilla Giddings of White Bird, daughter of Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings and an Air Force fighter pilot who has logged 1,000 combat hours and is now with the Idaho Air National Guard.

Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, also has drawn a primary challenger, Kris Steneck of Elk City.

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