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House Speaker Bedke announces run for lieutenant governor in 2022


BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) — Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke announced Thursday morning he will run for lieutenant governor in 2022, shaking up an already competitive race for second-highest statewide office.

Bedke, a rancher from Oakley, is the longest serving speaker in Idaho history. Members of the House of Representatives elected him speaker in December 2012, ahead of the 2013 legislative session. 

The speaker is a lionized leadership position that enjoys considerable influence in the Legislature. The speaker has influence over all House members committee assignments, presides over the daily floor sessions and plays an influential role in driving the agenda of each session.

RELATED | : Lt. Gov. McGeachin announces run for Idaho governor

Overall, Bedke is in his 11th, two-year term in the Idaho House.

Bedke will run in the May 2022 Republican primary. State Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, and former Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, have also announced they will run for lieutenant governor in 2022.

However, the official candidate filing period does not open until February, about 12 weeks before the May 17 primary. The winner of the primary will advance to the November 2022 general election. 

Born in Twin Falls, Bedke is a graduate of Oakley High School who holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University. 

Bedke is a former president of the Idaho Cattle Association, a powerful trade organization that is more than 100 years old and has seen its past and current members ascend to the highest levels of political office in Idaho.  

Bedke and his wife, Sarah, have four children. 

RELATED | Rep. Priscilla Giddings is running to be Idaho’s next lieutenant governor

What are the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor?

The lieutenant governor is essentially a part-time position that pays $48,405, or 35% of the governor’s annual salary. 

The term runs for four years, and there are basically two official responsibilities. 

The lieutenant governor presides over the Idaho Senate when the Legislature is in session but may only vote to break a tie. 

The lieutenant governor also serves as acting governor while the governor is out of state, which occurs frequently. In the event of a governor’s death, impeachment, removal from office, resignation or conviction for treason, felony “or other infamous crime,” the lieutenant governor would receive the governor’s “powers, duties and emoluments from the office,” for the remainder of the term, according to the Idaho Constitution. 

RELATED | Ammon Bundy files paperwork to run for Idaho governor as Republican

Unlike the president and vice president at the national level, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run as a ticket in Idaho. 

Despite the part time nature of the job, it’s viewed as a springboard for higher office. 

Gov. Brad Little served as lieutenant governor for 10 years before being elected governor. Former Gov. Butch Otter also served as lieutenant governor before being elected to Congress and being elected governor. 

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, served as lieutenant governor before being appointed governor and eventually going on to run for the U.S. Senate. 

Current Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin has announced she is running for governor in 2022. 

Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Idaho Capital Sun maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Christina Lords for questions: Follow Idaho Capital Sun on Facebook and Twitter.

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