By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
We’re six months from the filing deadline for the 2020 legislative races, and already, we have a competitive primary contest.
On Tuesday, Senate Transportation Committee chairman Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, announced he will not seek a seventh term in office.
Soon after, Mountain Home attorney Geoffrey Schroeder announced he will run for the spot. Schroeder is the former president of the Mountain Home City Council, and was previously active in the Elmore County Repubican Party. Schroeder also served in the Idaho National Guard.
Schroeder told Idaho Reports he is “excited to have the chance to represent District 23 in the Senate.”
On Thursday, Rep. Christy Zito, R-Hammett, announced she also plans to run for the open seat.
“As much as I love my colleagues in the House, I believe that I can bring a much needed conservative perspective to the Idaho Senate,” Zito said in a press release. “Too often we see good, conservative legislation die or get ignored in the Senate, and I hope to change this.”
Zito was first elected in 2016 and currently serves on the House Agriculture, Judiciary, and State Affairs committees. During the 2019 session, she was the lead sponsor for a bill that lowered the age for concealed carry within city limits to 18 years old. Gov. Brad Little signed that bill into law in April.
District 23 encompasses Elmore and Owyhee counties, and has had a host of fascinating legislative races since the 2012 redistricting fight. Redistricting pitted sitting senators Brackett and Tim Corder against each other in the primary, in which Brackett beat Corder with 57 percent of the vote.
The 2016 primary was another hotly contested year for the district, with incumbent representatives Rich Wills and Pete Nielsen losing to newcomers Zito and Megan Blanksma, respectively.
Schroeder had previously served as Blanksma’s campaign treasurer. Blanksma, who is now the House Majority Caucus Chair, told Idaho Reports he is no longer in that role, and she is staying neutral on this Senate race.