Senate contest, both House races on Idaho ballot
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three members of Idaho’s U.S. congressional delegation are trying to keep their seats and voters will decide whether to change what the state Constitution says about legislative districts. Here is a summary of major races on the ballot.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT HJR4
Idaho voters will decide today whether to change the state Constitution to permanently set the number of legislative districts at 35. The amendment received widespread bipartisan support among state lawmakers when it was pitched in the House of Representatives earlier this year, dubbed House Joint Resolution 4. Idaho already has 35 legislative districts — with one senator and two representatives elected from each — but the Constitution currently allows as few as 30 or as many as 35 districts to be set during redistricting, which occurs every 10 years.
Democrat and former state lawmaker Paulette Jordan is challenging longtime Idaho politician U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican, for his seat. Risch, 77, served as a state lawmaker, lieutenant governor and governor before he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008. He’s now trying for his third term in the role. Jordan, 40, is also a state lawmaker and a Coeur d’Alene Tribe member who served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council. She made a name for herself nationally when she unsuccessfully ran for Idaho governor in 2018, raising hopes among supporters at the time that she could be the country’s first Native American governor.
U.S. HOUSE-1ST DISTRICT
U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, a Republican, is running for a second term against Democratic challenger Rudy Soto. Soto, a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who campaigned on a goal of affordable health care. Fulcher, a former state lawmaker, developed a reputation as one of the far-right leaning members of the Idaho legislature when he served in the Statehouse.
U.S. HOUSE-2ND DISTRICT
U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is aiming for a 12th term representing Idaho residents in the eastern-most half of the state. Simpson, a Republican, is heavily favored to win in what remains one of the most conservative states in the U.S. He’s facing challenger Aaron Swisher, a Democrat and economist, for the second time. Swisher first ran against Simpson for the seat in 2018.
Idaho Secretary of State Lawrence Denney on Tuesday told voters to ignore suspicious robocalls telling them to “stay home, stay safe.” Denney says the calls are not from any official office though they appear to come from a local area code. He says all polling locations are open and will operate until 8 p.m., with voters able to register at their polling location if needed.