Longtime Rep. Mike Simpson wins re-election in District 2, AP calls

Longtime Republican Rep. Mike Simpson has retained his seat in Congress, the Associated Press called on Tuesday.

Simpson defeated Democratic challenger Aaron Swisher in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, the AP declared late Tuesday.

As of 11:25 p.m., Simpson had 60 percent of the vote with 473 of Idaho’s 959 precincts reporting. Simpson, who was leading Swisher by about 20 percentage points, has held the congressional seat since 1999.

“We were hoping for a better result, but we’ll see what the future brings,” Swisher told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday. He didn’t rule out the possibility of running in the future but offered no further specifics, and the Democrat declined to say what issues he hopes to see Simpson address.

With nearly two decades in Congress under his belt, Simpson has touted his longstanding relationships and history of investments in the Idaho National Laboratory and Idaho’s public lands as selling points for his re-election.

Much of Swisher’s platform revolved around his background as an economist and his plan for balancing the nation’s budget. In a debate last month on Idaho Public Television, he criticized Simpson’s political history, saying the longtime legislator had failed to make progress on issues such as immigration and health care.

Simpson’s campaign could not be reached by phone or email Tuesday.

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