Tea Party Candidates Claim Victories In North Idaho

May 22, 2014

Republican incumbents in Idaho are celebrating major victories over Tea Party candidates this week. Gov. Butch Otter and Congressman Mike Simpson both prevailed against challenges to their conservative credentials. But it was a very different story in one part of the state. Jessica Robinson reports from Kootenai County in north Idaho.

Mary Souza had reason to celebrate on her Wednesday online talk show.

Radio show opener: “Jump aboard the Common Sense Express”

Out of eight contested legislative races in Kootenai County, seven ultra-conservative challengers and incumbents won against more moderate Republicans. And one of the biggest upsets was by Souza herself. The conservative activist beat the seven-term, better funded state senator John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene.

Souza: “It doesn't look like in northern Idaho that money was able to buy this election...”

Oliveria: “Stunned. Not surprised. It went to stunned.”

That’s Dave Oliveria. He runs the Spokesman-Review's north Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online. Oliveria says just last year, Mary Souza lost a bid for Coeur d'Alene mayor.

Oliveria: “The city of Coeur d'Alene rejected her six months ago, and now she beats a multi-term incumbent. ”

Oliveria says the closed primary and North Idaho’s well-organized far-right Republican factions contributed to the victories.

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