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Idaho Republicans Claw Back Legislative Seats In 2020 Election

James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s federal candidates won by comfortable margins Tuesday night and may have carried that momentum down to the state legislative races.

Sen. Jim Risch and Congressmen Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson all won re-election over their Democratic opponents, with the Associated Press calling those races early in the night.

But gains made by Democrats at the state legislative level in 2018 may have been erased or at least held in check.

In West Boise, incumbent Republican Sen. Fred Martin, who held onto his seat by just six votes two years ago, comfortably won a new term against Rick Just 53% to 47%.

Republican newcomer Codi Galloway unseated freshman Democratic Rep. Jake Ellis in that same district by nearly 1,200 votes.

Rep. Steve Berch (D-Boise) fended off GOP challenger Patrick McDonald in that same district by about 600 votes.

High turnout and Republican enthusiasm spread across the state. In Pocatello, former, and now soon-to-be again state Rep. Dustin Manwaring beat out Democrat Chris Abernathy to take back his old seat that he lost in 2018.

The fate of three legislative seats in North Central Idaho’s District 5 that are hotly contested between Republicans and Democrats are still unknown. Conservative Benewah County had not reported its results as of 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Retiring Republican Rep. Bill Goesling’s seat is up for grabs, with Democrat Dulce Kersting-Lark barely edging out Brandon Mitchell in Latah County.

Incumbent Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesee) has a comfortable lead against Renee Love so far. And a rematch race between Sen. David Nelson (D-Moscow) and former Sen. Dan Foreman has Nelson ahead in Latah County.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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