Idaho 2022 Midterm Election Recap

Idaho state capitol building

Most votes from Tuesday’s midterm election have been counted across Idaho, with preliminary counts showing big wins for Republicans, including every contested race for federal and statewide office.

However, the results are technically unofficial until the State Board of Canvassers confirms the election by November 18.

Federal Races

All Republican incumbents secured reelection in the three federal races on the Idaho ballot this year. Senator Mike Crapo won a fifth term in Washington, garnering 60% of the vote count over four challengers. U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher defeated Democrat Kaylee Peterson by 45 points, securing a third term representing Idaho’s 1st Congressional District. In the 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Mike Simpson defeated Democrat Wendy Norman with 27 points, securing his thirteenth term.

Statewide Races

Voters reelected Republican Governor Brad Little for a second term. He secured over 358,000 votes (61%), defeating Democrat Stephen Heidt (20%) and Independent Ammon Bundy (17%).

Longtime House Speaker Scott Bedke will be Idaho’s next lieutenant governor. He replaces outgoing Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who waged an unsuccessful primary challenge against Gov. Little.

Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane was elected Secretary of State, securing the highest vote share of any statewide race (72%).

Former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador was elected Attorney General. He unseated long-time Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in the Republican primary, then defeated Democrat Tom Arkoosh in the general election.

Republican Debbie Critchfield, the public information officer of the Cassia County School District, defeated Democrat Terry Gilbert to become Idaho’s top education official, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Incumbent Controller Brandon Woolf and State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth both won reelection.

Legislative Races

The Idaho Legislature will have a record number of new members in both chambers, though the balance of power remains unchanged with a GOP supermajority continuing in 2023.

In most races, the victor ran uncontested or won by at least 20 points, with the following exceptions:

State Senate:

  • In District 6, Republican Sen. Dan Foreman narrowly defeated two-term Democratic Sen. David Nelson by just 391 votes. Nelson previously defeated Foreman in close elections before redistricting.
  • In District 15, Democrats gained a legislative seat when Rick Just defeated Republican Rep. Codi Galloway, 50% to 48%. Constitution Party candidate Sarah Clendenon won about 2% of the votes. Galloway defeated incumbent Sen. Fred Martin in the Republican primary in August.
  • In District 26, Democrat Ron Taylor beat incumbent Republican Rep. Laurie Lickely after redistricting led Lickely to move from the old District 25 into District 26.
  • In District 29, Democrat Rep. James Ruchti narrowly defeated Republican David Worley, 54% to 46%.

State House:

  • In District 6, incumbent Republicans Lori McCann and Brandon Mitchell held off respectable challenges from Trish Carter-Goodheart and Tim Gresback, winning by 16 and 12-point margins in Latah County.
  • In District 15, incumbent Democrat Rep. Steve Berch narrowly defeated Republican challenger Steve Keyser, 53% to 47%. Republican Dori Healey defeated Democrat Jeff Nafsinger for an open seat in Ada County, 53% to 47%.
  • In District 26, incumbent Democrat Ned Burns and Republican Jack Nelson secured seats in a newly formed district across Blaine, Lincoln, and Jerome counties.
  • In District 29, incumbent Republican Dustin Manwaring narrowly defeated Democrat challenger Mary Shea, 52% to 48%, while Democrat Nate Roberts narrowly won over Republican Jake Stevens in Pocatello.

Learn more about the legislative races that took place in your district by visiting the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.

Ballot Initiatives

Voters were asked to weigh in on statewide ballot measures about taxes and calling special legislative sessions.

Flax Tax Structure – With 80% approval, voters overwhelmingly showed their support for the state’s recent tax rebates, reduction in income taxes, and increased funding for education.

Special Legislative Sessions – With 52% approval, voters narrowly approved Constitutional Amendment SJR 102, which will allow the Legislature to call itself back into special session within 15 days of a written request by at least 60% of lawmakers. Idaho was one of only 14 states where the governor had the sole power to call the Legislature back to the Capitol outside regular legislative sessions.

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