Idaho Primary Election: No surprises in state legislative races

There were no real surprises in Tuesday’s Idaho Primary Election as incumbents were preferred and some races went uncontested.

In the 6th Legislative District, incumbent Rep. Thyra Stevenson, of Lewiston, drew a Republican challenger in her bid for a fourth term representing Nez Perce and Lewis counties. However, she died May 11th after suffering a heart attack. Challenger, Aaron von Ehlinger won the race receiving more than 4,100 votes, or 78 percent, compared to 22 percent for Stevenson. The district’s Republican Central Committee recently nominated von Ehlinger, along with Glen Baldwin and Jim Evans, to serve out the final few months of Stevenson’s term.  With his Primary win, Idaho Governor Brad Little has appointed von Ehlinger to the position.

White Bird Rep. Priscilla Giddings won her 7th Legislative District Republican primary race against Orofino chiropractor Dennis Harper, 56 percent to 44 percent in a district that includes all of Idaho, Clearwater and Shoshone counties, as well as a small corner of Bonner County.

Two other legislative primaries were also decided in north central Idaho on Tuesday, both for open seats.

In the 5th Legislative District, which includes Latah and Benewah counties, Moscow businessman Brandon Mitchell defeated Santa logger Hari Heath 58 percent to 42 percent.

Mitchell will now face Democrat Dulce Kersting-Lark in the November general election. The winner will replace Republican Rep. Bill Goesling of Moscow who did not run for a second term.

In the 7th Legislative District House B race, former Salmon River High School coach Charlie Shepherd won a close race over former Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor in their Republican primary race, 52 percent to 48 percent.

No Democrat filed for the seat, so Shepherd is likely headed for victory in the general election — allowing him to replace his father, eight-term Rep. Paul Shepherd, who chose to retire.

All other incumbent legislators in north central Idaho were unchallenged in the primary, although some have contested races in November. (Lewiston Tribune)