Idaho House speaker wins GOP lieutenant governor primary


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Powerful House Speaker Scott Bedke has won the GOP primary for lieutenant governor.

The fourth-generation rancher who is generally considered an expert on state water issues beat state Rep. Priscilla Giddings in a race called Wednesday after voting in Tuesday’s primary.

The race was another battle between an establishment Republican in Bedke against a far-right candidate in Giddings. Bedke got around 52% of the vote and Giddings 43%, while Daniel Gasiorowski got the rest.

Giddings was censured by her House colleagues late last year after she went public with the name of a 19-year-old intern who said she had been raped by another House lawmaker.

Bedke was nominated to a House seat representing south-central Idaho in 2001 by Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne. After a redistricting, he won the Republican primary and general elections. It has run mostly unopposed since.

He became president in 2012 by defeating then-president Lawerence Denney, now Idaho’s secretary of state.

Bedke will face Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler in November’s general election for lieutenant governor, a position Democrats last held in the 1970s in deeply conservative Idaho.

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