Election Central

Idaho GOP establishment lines up behind Rep. Mike Simpson

Eight-term Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson announced Tuesday that his campaign organization includes five of seven state constitutional officers, the top leaders of the Idaho House and Senate and the state’s senior lawmaker, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.

Gov. Butch Otter and his wife, Lori, are the titular heads of the Simpson re-election campaign, and another 11 GOP officials or former officials are co-chairs. (Candidates dole out such titles liberally; Simpson is calling both Otters “campaign chairs.”)

Their are four notable omissions on Simpson’s All-Star GOP roster: U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Treasurer Ron Crane.

Simpson’s insurgent opponent, tea party-backed Bryan Smith of Idaho Falls, has been endorsed by four GOP members of the Legislature, Sen. Monty Pearce of New Plymouth and Reps. Lenore Barrett of Challis, Pete Nielsen of Mountain Home and Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls.

“I am proud to have the support of so many outstanding Idaho leaders,” said Simpson in a news release. “I look forward to working with them as they help share my conservative record of lowering taxes, protecting gun rights, promoting a balanced budget amendment, and fighting the burdensome impacts of Obamacare and President Obama’s other failed policies.”

Said Otter in the release: “I’m proud to serve as chair of Mike’s campaign. Mike is a man of integrity and he has proven over and over that he is the conservative leader we need in Congress tackling the issues that impact us as Idahoans. Mike represents our Idaho values and has always fought for Idaho families.”

In addition to the Otters and Crapo, Simpson’s campaign co-chairs are: Lt. Gov Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Controller Brandon Woolf, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, former Controller Donna Jones, Idaho Agriculture Director Celia Gould, a former state lawmaker, and her husband, former House Speaker Bruce Newcomb.




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