About the people on your ballot: Idaho candidates, debate coverage

Where to find details on candidates for Idaho governor, lt. gov., attorney general and more

By: - November 1, 2022 4:05 am
A collage of photos of 21 candidates in competitive races in the 2022 Idaho general election

A collage of photos of 21 candidates in competitive races in the 2022 Idaho general election. (Audrey Dutton, Idaho Capital Sun)

The 2022 election year brought its share of surprises, from changes in candidacy to candidates turning down debate invitations.

The Idaho Capital Sun has interviewed candidates who are on the ballot in every statewide race. Here, you can find all our profiles and coverage of debates between the people who want to represent you in Boise or Washington, D.C.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide, and voters can register at the polls on Election Day with a valid ID and proof of residence. To find more information on voter registration, polling locations and more, go to voteidaho.gov or your county’s election office website.

Idaho governor: Bundy (I), Heidt (D), Little (R), and more

Three Idaho gubernatorial candidates speaking into microphones at political events. Little wears a navy blue jacket with red tie; Heidt wears a navy blue jacket with light blue tie; Bundy wears a tan jacket and cowboy hat.
Idaho candidates for governor, clockwise from left: Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Republican; Stephen Heidt, Democrat; Ammon Bundy, independent. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun; Getty Images)

Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a rancher and longtime Idaho Republican politician, seeks a second term as governor. Little previously served as the lieutenant governor for 10 years and, before that, in the Idaho Legislature.

Stephen Heidt is an English as a second language teacher who worked for the Idaho Department of Correction for more than a decade before retiring this year to devote time to his campaign as the Democratic nominee for governor.

Now on the ballot as an independent candidate, Ammon Bundy pledged to repeal Idaho’s personal property tax and personal income tax, eliminate exceptions to Idaho’s abortion ban and bring all federal lands in Idaho under state control.

The race for Idaho governor includes Little, Heidt, Bundy, Libertarian Paul Sand, Constitution Party nominee Chantyrose Davison and write-in candidate Lisa Marie.

 

Idaho lieutenant governor: Bedke (R), Pickens Manweiler (D)

Idaho Debates Bedke Pickens Manweiler
Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler and Republican Scott Bedke participated in the Idaho lieutenant governor’s debate Oct. 28. (Courtesy of Aaron Kunz/Idaho Public Television)

Terri Pickens Manweiler is a trial attorney and founding partner of Pickens Law in Boise. Her top priorities as a candidate are to support LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, reproductive health care rights, public education, Idaho’s public lands and to push back against extremism and the far right.

Scott Bedke is a rancher and a longtime member of the Idaho Legislature, including several terms as speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. He is running on his record in state government; during his tenure, Idaho had a record budget surplus, issued multiple income tax cuts and rebates and increased education funding.

 

Idaho attorney general: Arkoosh (D), Labrador (R)

Arkoosh and Labrador side-by-side
Boise attorney Tom Arkoosh, left, and former U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador are running to be Idaho’s next attorney general. (Aaron Kunz/Idaho Public Television)

After the Republican primary, Boise attorney Tom Arkoosh decided to accept an invitation from the Idaho Democratic Party to run. Arkoosh believes the role of the attorney general is to follow the law as written and advise legislators on how best to comply with the law, but not to get involved in the process of lawmaking or policy itself.

Raúl Labrador is an attorney and lobbyist. He served in the U.S. House of Representative and in the Idaho Legislature. He has pledged to be a more aggressive attorney general than current Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. He would have Idaho join more lawsuits against the federal government and create a solicitor general’s division in the office.

 

U.S. Senate: Cleveland (I), Crapo (R), Roth (D)

Candidates for Idaho's U.S. Senate seat
From left: Independent candidate Scott Cleveland, Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and Democrat David Roth debate on Idaho Public Television. (Jim Hadley/Idaho Public Television)

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is seeking his fifth term in the U.S. Senate. Democrat David Roth is the executive director of the Bonneville Youth Development Council in Idaho Falls. Independent candidate Scott Cleveland is the owner of an investment and brokerage firm in Eagle.

Crapo has defended his record against criticisms from both opponents. Cleveland attacked his vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and Roth attacked his votes against the CHIPS Act and the Pact Act.

 

U.S. House of Representatives, District 1: Drake (L), Fulcher (R), Peterson (D)

Candidates for congressional district 1
Both of Idaho’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election on Nov. 8, and Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho (left) has two challengers on the ballot in Libertarian Darian Drake (bottom right) and Democrat Kaylee Peterson. (Courtesy of the Fulcher, Drake and Peterson campaigns)

U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher is running for his third term. Before entering Congress, Fulcher was a businessman and member of the Idaho Legislature. He has voted in Congress against federal spending and was among more than 100 House Republicans to vote against certifying the 2020 presidential election results.

Kaylee Peterson is a full-time parent and recently was a full-time student at College of Western Idaho. She is running largely in opposition to Fulcher’s congressional voting record and platform; for example, she wants to keep Idaho’s public lands under federal control.

Darian Drake entered the race late as a Libertarian candidate and “never had any aspirations to run for Congress” because he does not enjoy politics, but in Congress, he would defend individual rights, he said.

 

U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: Norman (D), Simpson (R)

Mike Simpson Wendy Norman
Republican Mike Simpson and Democrat Wendy Norman are running for U.S. Congress in Idaho’s second congressional district. (Courtesy of Mike Simpson and Wendy Norman)

Democrat Wendy Norman, a teacher from Rigby, is making access to affordable health care a central push in her campaign. Three years ago, Norman’s younger sister died in part because she could not afford health care working as a single mom, Norman said.

Originally a dentist by trade, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has held elected offices in Idaho since 1984. He served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1984 to 1998 and was elected to his first of 12 terms to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998.

 

Idaho treasurer: Ellsworth (R), Silver (D)

Idaho treasurer candidates Deborah Silver and Julie Ellsworth
Democrat Deborah Silver, left, and incumbent Republican Idaho Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, are the candidates on November’s general election ballot. (Courtesy of the Idaho Democratic Party and the treasurer’s office)

Idaho Treasurer Julie Ellsworth spent many years in Idaho politics before she was elected to the treasurer’s office in 2018. Before that, she used her bachelor’s degree in education to teach elementary school in Boise and earned a certification as a conflict resolution mediator through the University of Idaho.

Deborah Silver is a certified public accountant who worked in the Magic Valley for more than four decades before moving to a condo in Sun Valley. Silver taught accounting at the College of Southern Idaho for five years and co-owned an accounting practice in Twin Falls with her husband for 30 years.

 

Idaho superintendent of public instruction: Critchfield (R), Gilbert (D)

Side-by-side photos of two candidates: a man in a gray suit with red tie and glasses, and a woman wearing a white suit with black top, necklace and glasses
The 2022 candidates for Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction: Democrat Terry Gilbert and Republican Debbie Critchfield (Idaho Education News)

Debbie Critchfield is a former president of the Idaho State Board of Education. Terry Gilbert is a former teacher.

Critchfield has said she’d be willing to consider a voucher system, to allow parents to put public school funds toward non-public education. Gilbert opposes vouchers.

They disagree on how to spend over $300 million in funds for K-12. Gilbert would spend the money on educator salaries, and on English and math literacy. Critchfield would spend the funds on career-technical training, workforce readiness, public-private partnerships and school facilities issues.

 

Idaho secretary of state: Keenan (D), McGrane (R)

Shawn Keenan and Phil McGrane
Shawn Keenan, left, and Phil McGrane are vying for the job of Idaho secretary of state. (Courtesy of Shawn Keenan and Aaron Kunz/Idaho Public Television)

Shawn Keenan, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, decided to make his first foray into running for public office after witnessing primary candidates repeat debunked claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. As secretary, Keenan said he would prioritize voter access, after several pieces of legislation that he thought would disenfranchise voters nearly passed the Idaho Legislature this year.

Phil McGrane became Ada County’s chief deputy clerk in 2011 and served in that role until he was elected clerk in 2018. As secretary, McGrane would introduce election integrity bills, seek to reform campaign finance laws to make them clearer and easier to follow, and bring back training for candidates and campaign treasurers. He also wants to create a standardized voter guide.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton was a senior investigative reporter with the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover included health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.

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