Bedke faces new challenger for leadership role after 7 years as Idaho’s House speaker

Idaho Rep. Wendy Horman is challenging Speaker Scott Bedke for the top House leadership position heading into the 2021 legislative session. Republican House members will vote on the speaker’s race during a closed-door caucus meeting the evening of Dec. 2. Normally, the leadership elections take place in private at a Boise restaurant over dinner, but due to the pandemic, House GOP members will distance themselves inside the Statehouse and vote, and skip the communal dinner. The speaker enjoys enormous power in the Legislature and presides over the day-to-day business during House floor sessions.

The speaker plays a big role in appointing committee leaders and helps drive the agenda during the session. Horman, who was just re-elected to her fifth two-year term in the Legislature, has served on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee for the past six years and helped write the K-12 public school budgets.

If she’s successful, Horman would be the first female speaker of the Idaho House. She isn’t pushing for sweeping changes, but Horman would like a greater focus on the budget and analyzing state spending. She’s also pushed to increase the Legislative Services Office staff to provider greater year-round services to constituents. (Idaho Statesman)

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