State Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde headed a list of six legislative incumbents who appeared headed to defeat in Tuesday's Republican primary election.
Goedde, of Coeur d'Alene, was trailing Mary Souza, a longtime activist who ran unsuccessfully for Coeur d’Alene mayor in 2013. Goedde had served 14 years in the Senate. He was a vocal supporter of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 and a member of Gov. Butch Otter’s education reform task force. The propositions were the "Students Come First" reform measures championed by outgoing schools Superintendent Tom Luna that passed the Legislature but were overturned by voters in 2012.
Souza captured 1,853 votes, a 53.9 percent majority, according to state results this morning; Goedde trailed with 1,587 votes.
With Goedde’s apparent ouster, the nine-member Senate Education Committee will take on a different look. Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth, a committee member and 16-year Statehouse veteran, also was headed to defeat. Committee member Russ Fulcher, of Meridian, left the Legislature for an unsuccessful run for governor.
Abby Lee, of Fruitland, a challenger carrying Otter’s endorsement, collected 3,663 votes, a 55.6 percent majority, to Pearce’s 2,921 votes.
In addition to Goedde and Pearce, four other GOP lawmakers were headed to defeat:
- Rep. George Eskridge, of Dover, a 14-year veteran who serves on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
- Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett, of Challis, a colorful 22-year lawmaker who chaired the House Local Government Committee.
- Rep. Douglas Hancey, of Rexburg, a first-term lawmaker who cosponsored a prekindergarten pilot bill written by Boise Democratic Rep. Hy Kloc.
- Rep. Ed Morse, a first-term lawmaker from Hayden.
Several other Republican incumbents survived close challenges Tuesday, including:
- House Education Committee Vice Chairman Pete Nielsen, of Mountain Home.
- Rep. Jeff Thompson, of Idaho Falls, a JFAC member who has carried K-12 budget bills on the House floor in recent years.
- Sen. Shawn Keough, of Sandpoint, a JFAC vice chairwoman.
- Rep. Luke Malek, of Coeur d'Alene.
Surviving a testy but not as close challenge was Sen. Bob Nonini, a high-profile conservative and member of the Senate Education Committee. He captured nearly 65 percent of the vote in defeating Patrick Whalen, a challenger endorsed by Otter.
Read the complete, latest blog post on the Idaho Education News website.