Every two years the legislature meets after the election to select their leadership for the next two legislative sessions.
Going into the 2021 selections, a change in the Senate leadership was coming due to the retirement of Senator Brent Hill (R-Rexburg) for the majority party and the retirements of Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) and Maryanne Jordan (D-Boise) for the minority party. In the House, all four members of the Republican leadership team in the majority party were running for their seats but all of them had challengers and Rep. Elaine Smith (D-Pocatello) was also retiring which meant changes were coming for the Democrat House leadership as well.
Voting for leadership positions is a secret vote done behind-closed-doors.
At the end of the voting, all four members of the House leadership team in the majority party were re-elected.
Here were the races in the House on the Republican majority side:
- Rep. Wendy Horman challenged Rep. Scott Bedke for Speaker of the House
- Rep. Judy Boyle challenged Rep. Mike Moye for House Majority Leader
- Rep. Vito Barbieri challenged Rep. Jason Monks for Assistant House Majority Leader
- Rep. Dorothy Moon challenged Rep. Megan Blanksma for House Majority Caucus Leader
Again, none of the challengers in these four races were successful in their attempts to oust current leaders.
On the House Minority side of the aisle, Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) was unchallenged for the position of House Minority Leader.
Rep. Elaine Smith was the House Minority Caucus Chair and was replaced by Rep. Sally Toone (D-Gooding). Rep. Lauren Neochea (D-Boise) was selected as House Assistant Minority Leader after defeating Rep. John McCrostie (D-Garden City).
In the Senate, Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) is the new Senate Pro Tempore after defeating Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Lewiston) for the position.
Sen. Abby Lee (R-Fruitland) defeated Sen. Lori Den Hartog (R-Meridian for Senate Assistant Majority Leader) after Sen. Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens) decided not to re-run for the position.
Sen. Kelly Anthon (R-Burley) ran for Senate Majority Leader unopposed. Sen. Mark Harris (R-Soda Springs) ran unopposed for the Senate Majority Caucus Chair position.
On the Democrat side, Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum) ran unopposed for Senate Minority Leader.
Sen. Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise) became the new Senate Assistant Minority Leader and Sen. Janie Ward-Engleking (D-Boise) became the Minority Caucus Chair.
Soon after new leadership took their positions, the chairman of committees were selected by leadership. Additionally, members of the legislature were assigned to serve on various committees.
Legislators submit their requests to leadership for committees they want to serve on but none of those requests are guaranteed.
The 2021 Idaho legislative session begins in January.
Tags: Chuck Winder, Democrat, Ilana Rubel, Michelle Stennett, Republican, Scott Bedke