Friday, May 23, 2008

2nd District primary Tuesday

5 vie for U.S. House seat

Express Staff Writer

Longtime incumbent 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, will face two challengers in the Tuesday, May 27, primary election. The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary, which pits two Boise real estate agents against one another.

This is the first time Simpson has a primary opponent since his first election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998.

Simpson's challengers are Buhl resident Jack Wayne Chappell, author of "The Wilderness Rape," and Twin Falls businessman Gregory Nemitz.

One of two Democrats, Deborah Holmes and David Sneddon, both Boise real estate agents, will face the GOP winner in November.

Simpson is serving his fifth term and serves on the House Appropriations and House Budget committees. His subcommittee assignments include Energy and Water Development; Labor, Health and Human Services; and Education.

Simpson has gained national attention for his bill to split the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as his Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, which attempts to sort out a huge and long-standing wilderness conundrum as well as address the concerns of economic growth and stability for rural Idaho in and around the Boulder and White Cloud mountains north of Ketchum.

Nemitz, whose platform is highlighted further at, said in a recent interview he believes voters are interested in change.

Nemitz said his central platform consists of four primary issues: reforming social security, veterans benefits reforms, increased development of water resources and economic development through technological advances.

Chappell has targeted Simpson on the issue of the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act. He ran for the District 2 seat in 2000 and was a candidate for governor in 1998.

Holmes, a trained chemist working as a Boise real estate agent, has lived in the Treasure Valley for 17 years. She was in the Wood River Valley this week shaking hands and drumming up support. More information is available at

This is her first political campaign, but she said in a recent telephone interview that she is excited about the challenge. Her platform focuses on Iraq, education, financial reform and affordable health care, which she said are "important to Idaho voters."

Sneddon ran and lost in the U.S. Senate primary against Wood River Valley resident Alan Blinken in 2002.

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