Gov. Brad Little has won Idaho’s Republican primary gubernatorial primary, beating a challenge from his own Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.
Little’s victory marks a choice to remain with the establishment conservative wing of the GOP in one of the most Republican corners of the country, winning by a 45,000 vote margin, according to the Associated Press’ projection. Donald Trump-endorsed McGeachin represented the “America First” wing of the party, and attacked Little for not being conservative enough.
Little beat out a total of seven other Republican challengers, and will likely easily secure a second term in November against Democratic candidate Stephen Heidt.
Little and McGeachin have had a tumultuous partnership, often butting heads on policy issues. Twice, McGeachin issued executive orders while Little was out of state, one in April 2021 banning mask mandates and another in October banning COVID-19 vaccines or testing mandates. Little promptly revoked the orders upon returning, calling her action “an irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor run on different ballots.
McGeachin in turn accused Little of being a “RINO” (Republican in name only), and said if she won she would make Idaho a state free from public health overreach, cut taxes, enact protections for the Second Amendment, and support a national audit of the 2020 presidential election that Trump claims he rightfully won.