The candidate filing period doesn't close until March 13, but already filings with the Idaho Secretary of State's office show some competitive races in eastern Idaho both in the May primary and the November general election, including a few familiar faces seeking to get back into the Legislature.

In Legislative District 8, which includes Lemhi and Custer counties as well as Boise, Gem and Valley counties, Marla Lawson of Lowman has filed to challenge incumbent Sen. Steve Thayn, R-Emmett, in the Republican primary. Incumbent Reps. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, and Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, have also filed to run for re-election.

In District 28, which includes Power County and Bannock County outside of Pocatello, Rep. Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom, has filed to run for re-election, and Mike Saville of McCammon has filed to run against him as a Democrat. Rep. Kevin Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, has also filed to run for re-election and has no opponent as of yet.

In District 29, the city of Pocatello, Sen. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, has filed to run for re-election. Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, has announced she doesn't plan to run again and has endorsed former Rep. James Ruchti to succeed her. Rep. Chris Abernathy, D-Pocatello, hadn't filed for re-election yet as of Thursday.

In District 30, which includes the city of Ammon and rural western Bonneville County, Reps. Wendy Horman and Gary Marshall, R-Idaho Falls, have both filed to run for another term. Former Rep. Jeff Thompson, who Marshall unseated in the 2018 primary, has filed to run for the Senate seat Dean Mortimer is stepping down from after this year, and Kevin Cook and Adam Frugoli are also expected to file for that seat and face Thompson in the Republican primary.

In District 31, which covers Bingham County, Sen. Steve Bair and Rep. Julianne Young, both R-Blackfoot, have filed to run for re-election. Rep. Neil Anderson has announced he will not run for another term and so far no one has filed for his seat.

In District 32 Sen. Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs, and Reps. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, and Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, have all filed to run for another term. Bonneville County Commissioner Dave Radford has filed to challenge Christensen in the Republican primary.

In District 33, which is mostly the city of Idaho Falls, Sen. Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls, has filed to run for re-election, and Republican Marco Erickson has filed for House Seat B, meaning he will take on Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, in the primary should Zollinger run for another term.

In District 34, which covers Madison and northern Bonneville counties, current Rep. Doug Ricks, R-Rexburg, has filed to run for the Senate seat Brent Hill is vacating after this year. Rep. Britt Raybould, R-Rexburg, has filed to run for re-election, and former Rep Ron Nate, who Ricks ousted in the 2018 primary, will run against Raybould this time. No one has filed to run for Ricks' seat yet.

And in District 35, which covers Fremont, Butte, Clark and Jefferson counties, incumbents Sen. Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton, and Reps. Jerald Raymond, R-Menan and Rod Furniss, R-Rigby, have all filed to run for another term.

While they haven't filed declarations of candidacy yet, numerous additional candidates have filed campaign finance paperwork indicating they will run for legislative seats in 2020. Jud Miller, a doctor from Rigby who ran against Burtenshaw in the 2018 Republican primary, has also filed for this year. Miller was in Boise recently to testify in favor of a bill that would have made it illegal to perform gender reassignment surgery on a minor or give them puberty-blocking drugs. And Karey Hanks, who Furniss beat in the 2018 primary, has filed campaign finance paperwork showing she plans to run for the House again, this time against Raymond.

Jacob Householder of Rexburg has announced he plans to challenge Ricks in the District 34 GOP Senate primary and has put in campaign finance paperwork, and Jon Weber, also of Rexburg, is running for Ricks' House seat. In District 33, Democrat Mirand Marquit is running against incumbent Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls. Cook, Ruchti and Frugoli have also filed campaign finance paperwork.  

Gary Aldous of American Falls has filed campaign finance paperwork showing he plans to take on Andrus in the GOP primary. Republican Dustin Manwaring, who Abernathy beat in 2018, still has an active campaign account, although it remains to be seen whether he'll take another shot at the seat. And in District 8, LaVerne Sessions, of Salmon, has created a campaign account to challenge Moon in the GOP primary.

Check this blog for updates over the next week or so, and I will have a comprehensive roundup of who's running for what after the filing period closes on March 13.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.

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