Rotisserie politics: More changes in District 16? (5:30 p.m. Tuesday edition)

Another change could be coming in Boise's legislative caucus.

Democrat Grant Burgoyne filed Tuesday to run for a House seat in District 16, representing Northwest Boise and Garden City. He is filing for a position now held by Boise Democrat Margaret Henbest, a 12-year legislator.

Henbest will not seek re-election, according to The MountainGoat Report, a Democratic blog.

District 16's senator, Boise Democrat David Langhorst, is leaving the Legislature to run for Ada County commissioner.

Rotisserie politics: And then there were three ... (2:10 p.m. Tuesday edition)

Another day, another filing in the race to replace Sen. Larry Craig.

Scott Syme of Wilder jumped into the GOP primary today, joining Neal Thompson of McCall and Fred Adams of Idaho Falls. No filing yet from Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, the candidate of choice among many prominent Republicans, or from Democrat Larry LaRocco. Of course, the filing period runs until March 21.

On the legislative front, House Speaker Lawerence Denney of Midvale filed for re-election; Senate President Pro Tem Robert Geddes of Soda Springs filed Monday.

No big news on the local legislative front, although a host of incumbents filed for re-election. The latest on the Treasure Valley Big Board:

Branden Durst's Monday: Two GOP opponents (UPDATED, 11:30 a.m.)

One day into the two-week candidate filing period, and already, Boise Democratic Rep. Branden Durst has two Republican opponents.

One is well-known in political circles: former state Rep. Julie Ellsworth. She served a decade in the House, ascending to the leadership post of House majority caucus chairwoman, before losing in the 2006 election. She also was a player in a dustup of the 2007 session when she was hired — at the suggestion of House Speaker Lawerence Denney — to lobby for a bill on behalf of outdoors retailer Cabela's.

The second opponent, Gail Hartnett, may be less of a name. But the former president of the Idaho Association of Realtors boasts some big-name endorsements: Controller Donna Jones, former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa, and Debbie Field, head of the state's Office of Drug Policy. Field lost to Durst in the 2006 election.

Rotisserie politics: Familiar names resurface in Southeast Boise (5:52 p.m. Monday edition)

Two former legislators filed candidate papers Monday, giving Republicans a full slate of candidates in Southeast Boise's legislative District 18.

Dean Sorensen, who served in the House from 1985 and 1987 and ran for lieutenant governor in 1994, will run for the Senate seat held by two-term Sen. Kate Kelly, who filed for re-election.

Julie Ellsworth, who served in the House for a decade, was one of two Republicans to file for the House seat now held by Democrat Branden Durst. Ellsworth had served as House majority caucus chairman before losing in the 2006 elections.

District 18 had been a Republican district until 2004, when Kelly was first elected. The district went Democratic two years later when Durst beat incumbent Rep. Debbie Field and Phylis King ousted Ellsworth.

1205193130 Rotisserie politics: Familiar names resurface in Southeast Boise (5:52 p.m. Monday edition) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rotisserie politics: An intriguing primary in Meridian (1:50 p.m. Monday edition)

The Meridian area will have a contested Senate primary — and a sharp contrast in styles.

Shirley McKague, R-Meridian, filed paperwork to run for state Senate. The conservative McKague is completing her first Senate term; Gov. Butch Otter appointed her to the Senate in January 2007. McKague had served a decade in the House.

She will face an opponent in the May 27 GOP primary: Rep. Mark Snodgrass, who sought the Senate appointment 14 months ago. Snodgrass, an economics teacher and real estate agent, has been a moderate in six years in the House; on Friday, he was floor sponsor on the air quality and emissions testing bill that passed the House 42-26.

1205184790 Rotisserie politics: An intriguing primary in Meridian (1:50 p.m. Monday edition) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New name, same blog, same address

Yes, as you may have noticed, my blog got a new name today.

We're calling it Commentary: Kevin Richert. Where do we dream up this stuff?

Nothing else will change. If you have the URL bookmarked, no worries. The blog will stay put. And I'll be updating at least once every weekday morning — and more, especially as the Legislature heats up and I track campaign filings.

Rotisserie politics: An intriguing primary in Meridian (11:45 a.m. Monday edition)

The Meridian area will have a contested Senate primary — and a sharp contrast in styles.

Shirley McKague, R-Meridian, filed paperwork to run for state Senate. The conservative McKague is completing her first Senate term; Gov. Butch Otter appointed her to the Senate in January 2007. McKague had served a decade in the House.

She will face an opponent in the May 27 GOP primary: Rep. Mark Snodgrass, who sought the Senate appointment 14 months ago. Snodgrass, an economics teacher and real estate agent, has been a moderate in six years in the House; on Friday, he was floor sponsor on the air quality and emissions testing bill the passed the House 42-26.

1205171139 Rotisserie politics: An intriguing primary in Meridian (11:45 a.m. Monday edition) Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rotisserie politics: Who's running for what? (9:30 a.m. Monday edition)

The two-week candidate filing period opened this morning. Over the next two weeks, I'll be updating this blog as soon as we get news about who is running for what.

The Secretary of State's Office historically does a great job of running out updated lists, so I'll keep my eye peeled. I'll also offer analysis and backstory as we get more news. And I'll add some more races to the master list — including the federal and county races and key legislative races around the state.

So check back here often.

Here's what we know so far about the Treasure Valley legislative races:

DISTRICT 10: CANYON COUNTY, CALDWELL AREA

Coming Sunday: Read what Otter has to say

Friday was a good morning for Gov. Butch Otter.

The budget committee approved $134 million for the Connecting Idaho program, including $108 million for the Treasure Valley’s Interstate 84. Later that morning, Otter convened a “favorable” meeting to hammer out a resolution to the local-option tax debate.

Otter is optimistic that the 2008 legislative session will make progress on transportation issues. But Otter said he — and many legislators — are facing an unusual situation. Tax dollars are short of expectations.

Otter sat down Friday with the Statesman editorial board. Read highlights from the interview Sunday in Insight.

The feds giveth, the feds taketh away

... and in this instance, they giveth Idaho legislators another budget headache.

From Betsy Russell and the Spokane Spokesman-Review's Eye on Boise blog:

There’s potentially another $38 million hole in the budget that lawmakers are nearly finished setting for next year. When Congress passed the economic stimulus act – the same one that’ll send rebates to taxpayers across the country – it included some goodies for business, in the form of bonus depreciation and a one-time option to deduct expenses early. Normally, Idaho conforms its state income tax laws to federal income tax laws. If we do so in this case – for the stimulus law that President Bush signed on Feb. 14 – it’ll cost $38 million in next year’s general fund budget, according to the latest figures, but bring Idaho an extra $1.5 million the following year and another $59.5 million in fiscal years 2011 through 2015. Over the whole time period, that’s a $20 million gain.

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