The primary election has come and gone, but the results are still coming in. Looking at what we already know, there is a good chance that there will be changes to our state government, particularly in the Senate.
During the 2014 session, the House was made up of 55 Democrats and 43 Republicans, and the Senate was made up of 24 Republicans to 25 Democrats. In the Senate, two Democrats caucused with the Republicans to create the Majority Coalition Caucus, made up of 26 members to the Democratic Caucus of 23. Even though the Democrats outnumbered the Republicans by one seat, the Majority Coalition Caucus took control of the Senate.
If the results from the primary hold, the House Democrats will gain one seat, giving the Democrats 56 seats and the Republicans 42 seats. The Senate Republicans will gain a seat as well, giving the Republicans an elected majority with 25 Republicans to the 24 Democrats. However, the Majority Coalition Caucus would retain its 26-23 majority assuming Democrat Rodney Tom’s seat (who caucused with the Republicans) would go to Democrat Cyrus Habib who is not expected to caucus with the Republicans but Democrat Tracy Eide’s seat would go to Republican Mark Miloscia.
Of course, primary results do not guarantee general election outcomes.
Here are some highlights from the primary:
26th Legislative District
Representative Jesse Young (R) is running against Bill Scheidler (R) and Nathan Schlicher (D) to keep his seat in the House. Schlicher currently leads the race with 47% of the votes while the combined votes for Republicans is at 53%. Because Scheidler came in third during the primaries, he will not be going on to the general election. However, if in the general election, those who voted for Scheidler vote for Young, he could get the votes he needs to stay in office.
28th Legislative District
Senator O’Ban (R) is leading with 56% over his challenger, Representative Tami Green (D) with 44%. This is a wide margin, given the fact that this is a targeted campaign by the Democrats to get Senator O’Ban out of office.
30th Legislative District
In the 30th legislative district, Senate candidate Mark Miloscia (R) came out with 57% of the votes followed by his opponent is Shari Song (D) with 43%. Miloscia had previously served as a Representative for the 30th district as a Democrat. Now running as a Republican, Miloscia’s election could give the Senate Republicans an elected majority, assuming the remaining Republicans hold their seats.
35th Legislative District
Incumbent Tim Sheldon (D) is running against Irene Bowling (D) and Travis Couture (R) in the 35th legislative district. The votes went in favor of Democrat candidate Irene Bowling with 35% of the votes, then to Sheldon with 33%, and finally Couture with 32%. Most observers expect Sheldon to receive the majority of the votes cast for Couture, during the general election. Based on past elections, Sheldon has been elected with strong majorities.
44th Legislative District
In another hotly contested race, Senator Steve Hobbs (D) leads challenger Jim Kellett (R) by 53%-47%. In addition to the 44th legislative district being a swing district, this race is significant because Senator Hobbs has been the prime sponsor of the Abortion Insurance Mandate Bill which has come up in the last three sessions. This mandate would force employers to cover abortion insurance for their employees, even if the employer is against abortions.
48th Legislative District
Representative Cyrus Habib (D) is leading the race at 64% to Michelle Darnell’s (R) 36%. Both are running to take the Senate seat left open by Senator Rodney Tom. Along with Tim Sheldon, Tom was the other Democrat senator who worked with senate Republicans during this past session. However, Senator Tom’s term is up this year and is not seeking re-election.
On the federal level, Congresswoman Susan DelBene (D) is leading the race for 1st congressional district with 52% of the votes, followed by Pedro Celis with 16%. The race for the second place has been very close. Presumptive frontrunner Pedro Celis (R) had been trailing Robert Sutherland (R) by a couple hundred votes for the first few days following the election. However, Celis has made up the difference in votes and now is over 800 votes ahead of Sutherland (15%).
In the 4th congressional district, Clint Didier (R) leads with 31% of the votes, and is followed by Dan Newhouse (R) with 26%. Both candidates are seeking to fill the seat vacated by Congressman Doc Hastings, who is not seeking re-election.
There are many races that will help or hinder the fights for life and families. Some might give the Republicans or Democrats more control and others will just be interesting to watch. Either way, stay informed with what is going on during the election and be a part of change in Washington.
For more results on other races, click here.