Idaho Primary Election Nets Changes

The results reporting for Tuesday’s primary elections went well into the early morning hours as results came in from around the state. To date, most of the precincts from around Idaho have completed reporting election results.

Here is a comprehensive outlook on how the evening went and what it means for credit unions going into the General Election and 2025 legislative session (please keep in mind this is just for State legislative seats – incumbents Congressman Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher won their primaries convincingly. No U.S. Senator from Idaho was on the ballot this election cycle). Also, the State saw a 23.9% voter turnout. This is on par with previous primary elections.

Similar to the 2022 primary elections, many were shocked to see some of the results that came in Tuesday night. In 2022, 20 incumbents lost their seats; we saw similar results rolling in Tuesday night. Ultimately, 15 sitting members lost their reelect. I have highlighted the most notable results below:

  1. Senate District 1 – Senator Scott Herndon lost his seat to Jim Woodward in a rematch from 2022 that saw then Senator Woodward lose to Herndon.
  2. Senate District 20 – Senate President Pro Tem, Chuck Winder, lost his seat to Josh Keyser by nearly 300 votes.
  3. House District 30B – Representative Julianne Young lost by 2 votes to Ben Fuhriman (it should be noted that because Butte County misreported to the Secretary of State’s office and the vote count went from a 10-vote margin to a 2-vote margin, the Secretary of State will have a recount).
  4. The entire Magic Valley Region – incumbents from Elmore County to Mini-Cassia Counties lost their seats in a clean sweep, and frankly, it wasn’t even close. This was unexpected and shocked many people who have been closely following the campaigns.

Here is the complete list of 15 incumbents who lost Tuesday: Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise; Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle; Sen. Geoff Schroeder, R-Mountain Home; Sen. Chris Trakel, R-Caldwell; Sen. Linda Wright Hartgen, R-Twin Falls; Rep. Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell; Rep. Matt Bundy, R-Mountain Home; Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett; Jacyn Gallagher, R-Weiser; Rep. Kenny Wroten, R-Nampa; Rep. Melissa Durrant, R-Kuna; Rep. Tina Lambert, R-Caldwell; Rep. Chenele Dixon, R-Kimberly; Rep. Greg Lanting, R-Twin Falls; Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot.

While much of the focus revolved around legislative races, it is worth noting that the “moderate” republicans waged a campaign to win back local precinct seats around the state. There were significant gains in Eastern Idaho, Twin Falls, the Treasure Valley, and North Idaho. These outcomes set the stage for a potentially interesting GOP Convention in June, where controversial GOP Chair, Dorothy Moon, could be voted out.

What this Means Moving Forward:

There is no question the Idaho legislature became more conservative because of this election (conservative republicans picked up 5 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate). While many of these candidates will also face another challenger in the November General Election, many of these districts are very conservative and the chances of a democrat, constitutionalist, libertarian candidate winning is slim.

Shifting gears and looking at the 2025 legislative session, we do anticipate the focus will undoubtedly be on more social issues. The legislature will likely be debating issues such as school choice, anti-ESG, abortion, immigration, etc. We will have to wait and see.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss the results more.

Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Idaho Advocacy.