Election Central

Four Idaho lawmakers backing Bryan Smith’s challenge to Simpson

Two anti-establishment legislators are the highest-ranking Republicans to endorse Bryan Smith’s insurgent challenge to eight-term Congressman Mike Simpson in the May 2014 GOP primary.

Senate Resources and Environment Committee Chairman Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, and House Local Government Committee Chairwoman Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, are among 22 GOP luminaries on Smith’s endorsement list.

They are joined by Reps. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, and Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, in endorsing Smith, an Idaho Falls lawyer.

The influence of endorsements on voter preference is often exaggerated, but candidates nevertheless seek them eagerly. Wednesday’s list of eight endorsements from GOP leaders was the second for Smith, who in August announced 14 backers.

Smith’s endorsements emphasize the outsider nature of his tea party-fueled campaign, which aims to upset the Main Street-Chamber of Commerce-Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry alliance that has long dominated the Idaho GOP.

The four lawmakers represent a small fraction of 85 Republicans in the Legislature. Smith also is backed by two former lawmakers (Reps. Janice McGeachin and William R. Barlow), 13 party officials and two former party officials. Finally, among the 396 county elected officials in Idaho’s 44 counties, one — Bonneville County Treasurer Mark Hansen — has signed up with Smith.

Key to Smith’s success may be whether Idaho tea party forces, which have run hot-and-cold on how involved to get in partisan contests, are as active as they were in 2010 when they helped elect Congressman Raul Labrador.

Gem State Tea Party founder and Tea Party Boise President Chad Inman is working hard for Smith. In August, Inman drafted former Idaho Senate Minority Leader Rod Beck of Boise to lampoon Simpson in a YouTube video, portraying him as an old-school politician obsessed with bringing home the bacon.

Inman is the GOP chairman of Legislative District 17, one of Idaho’s few Democratic strongholds, on the Boise Bench.

When Inman endorsed Smith in August, he said, “Bryan Smith best represents the family values, including personal accountability and fiscal responsibility. Idaho’s second congressional district finally has a candidate that can beat Mike Simpson and represent their values.”

Here’s Smith’s Oct. 16 news release, followed by his Aug. 7 release:

The Bryan Smith for Congress Campaign Releases Local Idaho Endorsements

Idaho Falls, ID – Today, the Bryan Smith for Congress campaign released a list of endorsements from local Idaho elected officials.

Rep. Janet Trujillo, Idaho District 33-A State House Representative, said, “We need good people who are willing to fight for us in the federal government and I sincerely believe that Bryan Smith is the best choice to represent us in the U.S. Congress.”

Jace Prow, Elmore County Republican Committee Chairman, said, “Bryan Smith is an individual who stands by his morals and is not looking for a career in politics, but is concerned for our freedoms in the greatest nation on Earth.”

Bunni Farnham, Elmore County Republican Committee Secretary said, “It is refreshing to have such an ardent supporter of liberty running in the second congressional district.”

“I’m honored and humbled to have the endorsement of these hard working Idaho officials who share my belief that we need a true conservative fighting for us in Washington. Their support is yet another sign of the growing momentum of this campaign and the increasing support we are receiving on the grassroots level,” said Bryan Smith.

Rep. Janet Trujillo
Idaho District 33-A State House Representative

Rep. Peter Nielsen
Idaho District 23-B State House Representative

Sen. Monty Pearce
Idaho District 9 State Senate Representative

The Honorable William R.  Barlow
Former Idaho District 35-A State House Representative

Jace Prow
Elmore County Republican Committee Chairman

Bunni Farnham
Elmore County Republican Committee Secretary &
Camas Precinct Committeewoman

Randy Cortagelli
Custer County Republican State Committeeman

Mike Adams
Bonneville County Republican State Committeeman

 

The Aug. 7 release:

The Bryan Smith for Congress Campaign Releases Local Idaho Endorsements 

Idaho Falls – Today the Bryan Smith for Congress campaign released a list of endorsements of local Idaho elected officials.

Chad Inman, Idaho’s Legislative District 17 Chairman, said, “Bryan Smith best represents the family values, including personal accountability and fiscal responsibility. Idaho’s second congressional district finally has a candidate that can beat Mike Simpson and represent their values.”

Ronald Nate, Madison County Republican State Committeeman, said, “Idaho’s second congressional district seat has been wasted for far too long. Bryan Smith will bring much needed conservative principles to Congress.”

Barbara Ehardt, former Bonneville County Republican Women’s president, said, “I can think of no one who has been more prepared to enter the political arena and represent the people of Idaho than Bryan.”

“I’m honored to have the support of these hard working Idaho officials who share my belief that we need a principled conservative fighting for us in Washington. Their endorsements are a sign of the growing momentum of this campaign and the increasing support we are receiving on the grassroots level,” said Bryan Smith.

 

Rep. Lenore Barrett

Idaho District 8-B State Representative 

Rep. Janice McGeachin

Former Idaho District 32-A State Representative

Barbara Ehardt

Former Bonneville County Republican Women’s President

Chad Inman

Idaho Legislative District 17 Chairman 

Stafford Smith

Idaho Legislative District 33 Chairman

John Blattler

Idaho Region 3 Chair

Mark Hansen

Bonneville County Treasurer

Mike Barrett

Custer County Republican Central Committee Chairman

Doyle Beck

Bonneville County Republican Central Committee Chairman

 Brett Manwaring

Second Vice-Chair – Bonneville County Republican Central Committee

 Tim Larsen

Bonneville County Republican Central Committee Treasurer

Ralph Lillig

Former Vice Chairman, Bannock County Republican Party 

Ronald Nate

Madison County Republican State Committeeman

Brad Christensen

Bonneville County Republican State Youth Committeeman

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