With attention focused on three new GOP leaders in the Senate, the absence of change in the House has been overlooked.
But House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, said there was a message sent by the challenge to Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star and Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts of Donnelly.
"I suppose the fact that we had races mean that they like us, but they don't love us," Denney said. "And we could do a better job."
Moyle was challenged by five-term Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, who had grown impatient with the pace of change in the House, including the clout of senior members.
The vote count isn't known, but Moyle looked anxious before Wednesday's election. After he retained his post, Moyle said, "As majority leader, you're the guy that has to do some of the tough things that make you not very popular. The majority leader is the bad guy. And with a large caucus, you can't make 'em all happy."
The GOP caucus grew by five, and Republicans now hold 57 of 70 seats.
Oddly enough, the challenge to Moyle came from the right. Odd because Moyle has been demonized by some for being too conservative.
"I don't understand," said Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Idaho Falls, who gave a nominating speech for Moyle before the vote. "I've always thought that Mike was a very conservative member of the caucus."
Moyle's other nominating speech came from Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell. Bayer's nominators were Reps. Judy Boyle of Midvale and Erik Simpson of Idaho Falls.
Roberts was challenged by Rep. Bob Nonini of Coeur d'Alene. Roberts attributed the stay-the-course outcome as a measure of tough times. "In the difficult session that lies ahead, I think they're comfortable with the current leadership."
Raybould agreed: "The members wanted the leaders with history behind them, not someone new."