With every seat in the Idaho Legislature up for a vote, most incumbents held their seats and the Legislature retained its overwhelmingly GOP cast in Tuesday’s general election.
But two Democratic incumbents lost their seats in north-central Idaho. House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, lost in a rematch with Republican Mike Kingsley, who claimed 58 percent of the vote.
In another upset, Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, narrowly lost his seat to GOP challenger Dan Foreman. Foreman had 51 percent of the vote to Schmidt’s 49 percent. That’s a difference of 327 votes.
In Coeur d’Alene, Republican Paul Amador beat Democrat Tom Hearn 63 percent to 37 percent for an open seat, after Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, lost to Amador in the GOP primary in May.
In Bonner and Boundary counties, GOP Rep. Heather Scott won with 60 percent of the vote against her challenger, Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce President Kate McAlister, a Democrat.
Longtime state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, won with 76 percent of the vote over challenger Steve Tanner.
First-term Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, prevailed with 66 percent of the vote over Bonners Ferry Democat Stephen Howlett.
Outspoken conservative Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, won a fourth House term despite a spirited challenge from Democrat Kathy Kahn, a retired teacher. Barbieri secured 72 percent of the vote.
And first-term Rep. Eric Redman, R-Athol, easily turned back a challenge from Democrat Richard Kohles. Redman took 76 percent of the vote.
Coeur d’Alene GOP Rep. Luke Malek won a third term, 69 percent to 31 percent over Democratic challenger Patrick Mitchell; and first-term GOP Sen. Mary Souza was re-elected in her race against retired teacher Kristi Milan, 63 percent to 37 percent.
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