Republican Sen. Mike Crapo is virtually guaranteed re-election for his second term in 2004. Crapo, who was unopposed for the GOP renomination, will have an easy time in November since Democrats declined to file a challenger. It was the first time Democrats failed to put up a candidate for Senate in Idaho.
Republican Rep. Butch Otter also has no November opposition at the moment since Democratic businesswoman Naomi Preston announced her withdrawal from the 1st district race for personal reasons. The party hoped to find a replacement although party leaders realize any challenger at this point would be a long shot.
In the primaries, Otter trounced token challenger Jim Pratt, a farmer, to secure nomination for a third two-year term.
Idaho's other congressman, Republican Michael Simpson, was unopposed for renomination and is heavily favored to win a fourth term this fall over former Democratic state Sen. Lin Whitworth of Inkom.
In 2002, Republicans won all but one statewide office. Senator Larry Craig easily won a third term, defeating Democrat Alan Blinken, a former Wall Street investment banker.
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne overcame criticism of his education cuts to defeat Democratic newspaper publisher Jerry Brady for a second term.
In the House, freshman Republican Butch Otter deflected a strong re-election challenge from Democratic former U.S. Attorney Betty Richardson.
Voters narrowly ratified a first-in-the-nation legislative repeal of statewide term limits.