Scott Bedke wins Idaho Republican primary for lieutenant governor

Idaho House speaker defeats state Rep. Priscilla Giddings

By: - May 18, 2022 12:17 am
Scott Bedke

Idaho Speaker of the House and lieutenant governor candidate Scott Bedke talks in the hall during the Idaho Republican Party primary celebration on May 17, 2022. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

House Speaker Scott Bedke won the 2022 Republican primary election for lieutenant governor Tuesday, according to unofficial election results released by the state. 

Bedke defeated state Rep. Priscilla Giddings and Republican Daniel J. Gasiorowski would hold up. 

“We are in good shape,” Bedke told the Idaho Capital Sun shortly before midnight. “I feel confident that our margin will hold.”

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, election results showed Bedke claiming 52% of the vote compared to 42% for Giddings. Gasiorowski won almost 6%.

Bedke is a rancher from Oakley and is the longest serving speaker of the house in the history of the Idaho Legislature. He has served 11 terms in the Idaho House of Representatives.

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Giddings is a fighter pilot from White Bird who has served three terms in the Idaho House of Representatives.  

Lieutenant governor is a four-year position and a part-time job. The main requirements of the job include presiding over the Idaho Senate and being prepared to break a potential tie vote. The lieutenant governor also frequently serves as acting governor while the governor is out of state. The lieutenant governor’s office has been a springboard to higher office for decades. Gov. Brad Little and former Govs. Butch Otter, Jim Risch, Phil Batt and John Evans all served as lieutenant governor before going on to become governor. 

During the campaign, Giddings backed out of appearing in a statewide televised debate against Bedke after originally agreeing, which led to the cancellation of the planned lieutenant governor’s debate on Idaho Public Television. Giddings backed out after her campaign team said they wanted to preauthorize the reporters on the panel who help ask questions during the debate. Idaho Gov. Brad Little and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, also declined to participate in debates this year. 

“It’s time to move on,” Bedke said. “We’ve been through a tough primary, but there are a lot of things that we all agree on. We all agree that we want our kids well-educated. We all agree that we want our roads and bridges and water systems up to snuff. We all know that Idaho is the fastest-growing state. We’ve been discovered.”

Bedke’s primary election victory represents a win for an establishment, traditional conservative over the far right challenge from Giddings. In 2021, the Idaho House voted 49-18 to censure Giddings for conduct unbecoming of a legislator and remove her from one of her committee assignments after she shared and promoted a blog that identified and included the photo of 19-year-old intern who accused former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger of rape. Last month, an Ada County jury found von Ehlinger guilty of rape, and he is awaiting sentencing. 

Bedke now advances to the Nov. 8 general election to square off against Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler and Pro-Life, who is a Constitution Party candidate formerly named Marvin Richardson.

Tuesday’s results will become official after they are canvassed and certified over the next couple of weeks. The deadline for the State Board of Canvassers to meet to conduct the canvass and certify the election results is June 1.

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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.

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