Moyle: impact of District 8 pick on Idaho House leadership races unclear

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle says the selection of Terry Gestrin to fill a ballot vacancy in District 8 isn't a signal that he and Speaker Lawerence Denney may have lost a vote in the December leadership contests.

On Saturday, Terry Gestrin defeated John Blattler to fill the vacancy left when former GOP Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts resigned to take a full-time post on the Idaho Tax Commission. Roberts, R-Donnelly, and Moyle, R-Star, had been openly feuding, and Moyle spent money trying to help Blattler defeat Roberts in the May 15 primary. Roberts was aligned with Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, who is campaigning to replace Denney, R-Midvale.

Gestrin, of Donnelly, said Monday that it was too early for him to engage in a race that won't be decided until after the GOP caucus is set in the Nov. 6 general election.

Moyle called Tuesday morning, saying he'd missed my Monday call seeking comment during a busy day of farming.

He said there's no way of telling how Gestrin's win may impact leadership. "Terry's a good, conservative guy and he'll do a good job. I don't know that Blattler was going to be with me. I don't think it changes anything."

Moyle added that he played no role in attempting to influence the District 8 GOP Central Committee, which voted 18-15 for Gestrin. Roberts said he openly supported Gestrin as his replacement.

"I stayed away from that," Moyle said. "I figured the district would pick who they wanted."

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