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Idaho House speaker wins GOP lieutenant governor primary

East Idaho Elects

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

The fourth-generation rancher who is generally considered an expert on the state’s water issues defeated state Rep. Priscilla Giddings in a race called Wednesday following 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 about 52% of the vote and Giddings 43%, while Daniel Gasiorowski received the remainder.

Giddings was censured by her House colleagues late last year after publicizing the name of a 19-year-old intern who reported she was raped by another House lawmaker.

Bedke was appointed to a House seat representing south-central Idaho in 2001 by Republican Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. Following redistricting, he won the Republican primary and general election. He ran mostly unopposed ever since.

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

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

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