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Idaho Senate minority leader won’t seek re-election this year

Minority Leader Sen. Michelle Stennett (D, Ketchum)
Otto Kitsinger
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, at the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for the Idaho Capital Sun)

Democratic senator of Ketchum has occupied seat since 2010

Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, announced Monday in a press release that she will not run for re-election to the Idaho Senate after 12 years in office.

“My time as senator has been an extraordinary and humbling experience for which I am grateful,” Stennett said in the release. “I will continue to do my best to serve the people of our district and the state until my term ends in December, but will not seek reelection.”

Stennett was first elected to the seat in 2010 to succeed her husband, former Sen. Clint Stennett, who represented Blaine County for more than 20 years and died of cancer in October of that year. She was elected to the seat the following month with 57% of the vote.

Stennett is a member of the Health and Welfare, Resources and Environment and State Affairs committees in the Idaho Senate. She was last re-elected in 2020, winning with 56% of the vote over Republican Eric Parker, who has declared his candidacy for the seat this year as well. Parker is the founder and president of the Real 3%ers militia group in Idaho and is known as the “Bundy Ranch sniper” for pointing a rifle at federal authorities in Bunkerville, Nevada, in 2014. He has raised more than $33,000 so far for the campaign.

Rep. Laurie Lickley, R-Jerome, has also announced her intention to run for the Senate seat after redistricting put her in contention for District 26. She has raised more than $7,000 in 2021 and the first months of 2022 as a candidate.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.