Election Central

Could the Basque reign in Idaho be over?

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is being uncharacteristically tight-lipped about his plans to seek a fourth four-year term next year.

Friday’s news that former House Speaker Lawerence Denney has established a campaign fundraising committee would seem to demand a response from the voluble Ysursa.

But Ysursa didn’t respond to the John Miller of the Associated Press on Friday. On Monday, he offered me a brief email reply: “I intend to make my future plans known within the next few weeks. Until then I really have no comment.”

I’ve done some reporting to figure out what’s up and it seems to me neither man has made up his mind. If Ysursa retires, a run by Denney becomes far more likely, as Denney’s allies acknowledge the difficulty of challenging a popular figure whose job is largely administrative.

My column will explore the issue Tuesday. Look for it and let me know what you think.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics