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As primary election season heats up, political candidate filing period opens in Idaho

The rotunda at the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Otto Kitsinger
The rotunda at the Idaho Capitol on Jan. 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Candidates for statewide, legislative offices have until March 11 to file paperwork

It’s officially campaign season in Idaho.

The filing period for candidates to submit their declaration of candidacy forms opens at 8 a.m. today and closes at 5 p.m. March 11.

Although some candidates have been campaigning for months, candidates must file these declaration of candidacy forms in order to appear on the May 17 primary election ballots. Republicans and Democrats will compete in the May 17 primaries, while independent and third party candidates will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The 2022 elections will be big in Idaho and are expected to shape the government and political landscape for years to come. All statewide offices — governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction — are up for election this year.

All 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature are up for election this year.

Both of Idaho’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for election, and one of Idaho’s seats in the U.S. Senate — the seat held by Sen. Mike Crapo — is up for election.

And, for the first time in 10 years, there are new legislative and congressional political boundaries that were put in place through the redistricting process, which the Idaho Supreme Court upheld this month.

To file, candidates must complete the proper candidate declaration form for the office they are seeking, have the form notarized and pay the filing fee or submit a petition with signatures.

Candidates may turn the forms in at the Secretary of State’s Office inside the Idaho State Capitol in Boise, where notary publics will be available, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said. Candidates may also print the forms, have them notarized themselves and mail them in as long as the forms arrive by the March 11 deadline.

The candidate declaration forms are available on the Secretary of State’s website, which will allow candidates to make sure they enter their own name and information correctly before they print the form out.

The Secretary of State’s Office will publish a list of candidates who have filed for office at 1 p.m. and again at the close of business around 6 p.m. each business day during the filing period.

“We will do that on a daily basis, and it will be on our website,” Houck said in a telephone interview Friday.

2022 elections expected to lead to changes in the Legislature

This year’s elections, the new political boundaries and competition for higher office are expected to lead to a significant shakeup in the Idaho Legislature next year.

Several legislators, including Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley; Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R- White Bird; Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; and Sen. Mary Souza, R- Coeur d’Alene, have said they will leave their seats in the Legislature to run for higher statewide office.

Several members of the Idaho House of Representatives, including Reps. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, and Ben Adams, R-Nampa, have said they will run for the Idaho Senate.

Meanwhile, several veteran legislators, including House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Fred Wood, R-Burley, Senate State Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Caldwell,Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, and Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer, and Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, are not running for re-election.

Little expected to officially enter governor’s race

Although he is raising campaign funds and running commercials, Gov. Brad Little has not officially said he is running for re-election. However, Little is expected to officially file to run for his second term. For months, he has told reporters people won’t be surprised by his election decision.

When he runs, Little will officially enter the race for the Republican nomination against Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, a political rival of Little’s who announced her campaign for governor in May 2021. Even though she has already announced, McGeachin will also need to submit official declaration of candidacy forms by the March 11 deadline.

In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run for office as part of a joint ticket, like the U.S. president and vice president do.

Several other candidates have said they will also run in the Republican gubernatorial primary, including Ed Humphreys, Bonner County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, Cody Usabel, Chris Hammond and Lisa Marie.

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad has announced he is running for governor as a Democrat.

The winners of the May 17 Republican and Democratic primary elections advance to November’s general election.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state. As longtime Idahoans ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing Idaho. We provide in-depth reporting on legislative and state policy, health care, tax policy, the environment, Idaho’s explosive population growth and more. Our mission is relentless investigative journalism that sheds light on how decisions in Boise and beyond are made and how they affect everyday Idahoans. We aim to tell untold stories and provide data, context and analysis on the issues that matter most throughout the state. The Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. We retain full editorial independence.