Election Central

Endorsement watch in Idaho’s 2nd District: Simpson counters Smith with more GOP heavy hitters

Eight-term incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson is bolstering his support among the GOP establishment with a new list of county campaign chairs including five sitting lawmakers, two former lawmakers and a former chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.

Simpson announced in October that Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter would chair his 2014 campaign against Idaho Falls lawyer Bryan Smith and that co-chairs include the top officials of the Legislature, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill.

Smith has released the names of 22 endorsements, including four of the 85 Republicans in the Legislature and two former lawmakers.

Simpson named leaders for county organizations in the 25 counties that make up the 2nd Congressional District. Notables include former Idaho GOP Chairman Trent Clark of Caribou County, Senate Commerce and Resources Committee Chairman John Tippets of Bear Lake County, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Maxine Bell of Jerome County, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rich Wills of Elmore County and Reps. Steve Miller of Camas County and Clark Kauffman of Twin Falls County. Former lawmakers Bert Stevenson of Minidoka County and Moon Wheeler of Power County are also part of the Simpson organization.

Simpson’s news release was first issued Nov. 25, while I was out of the office. It was reissued as an “in case you missed it” Monday morning.

The release follows, in full. (Note: The release misspells Bert Stevenson’s first name).


Boise, ID – Congressman Mike Simpson today announced the support of Idaho grassroots leaders who will serve as his campaign’s county chairs. These community leaders join Campaign Chairs, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and First Lady Lori Otter and will oversee the campaign’s grassroots outreach efforts across the district.

“I couldn’t be more proud to represent the people of Idaho and I’m honored to have the support of these impressive community leaders,” said Congressman Simpson. “With their help, we will make sure Idaho’s conservative values continue to be strongly represented in Congress, especially now, when they’re needed most.”

Simpson County Chairs:

•             Dave & Jacqui Shurtleff – Ada County

•             Jeremy Field – Bannock County

•             John & Nancy Tippets – Bear Lake County

•             Dan Cravens – Bingham County

•             Debbie O’Neill – Blaine County

•             Tim Hopkins – Bonneville County

•             Julie Hayward – Butte County

•             Steve Miller – Camas County

•             Trent Clark – Caribou County

•             Mark Peterson – Cassia County

•             Connie Barg – Clark County

•             Marty Orwig – Custer County

•             Rich Wills – Elmore County

•             Nicky Hollingsworth – Franklin County

•             Jim Blake – Freemont County

•             Patty Bauscher – Gooding County

•             Coleen Erikson – Jefferson County

•             Jack & Maxine Bell – Jerome County

•             Rowdy Davis – Lemhi County

•             Don Hudson – Lincoln County

•             Marsha Bjornn – Madison County

•             Burt Stephenson – Minidoka County

•             Elaine Bohn – Oneida County

•             Moon & Ann Wheeler – Power County

•             Lea Beckett – Teton County

•             Clark Kauffman – Twin Falls County

Last month the campaign announced as co-chairs: U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, State Controller Brandon Woolf, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Senate Pro Tempore Brent Hill, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, Director Idaho Department of Agriculture Celia Gould, Former State Controller Donna Jones, and Former Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb

 Congressman Mike Simpson is a proud conservative who enjoys an A plus rating with the NRA, a 100 percent rating with National Right to Life, and annual recognition from the American Conservative Union. He has authored billions of dollars in cuts to the EPA, the delisting of wolves, and protections for Idaho’s farmers and ranchers. Simpson fought Obamacare by voting against it over 40 times, pushed a balanced budget amendment, and voted repeatedly to lower taxes on all Americans.


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.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics