BOISE, Idaho – Three Republicans — one U.S. senator and two congressmen — handily won their party primaries in Idaho on Tuesday, while President George Bush and his presumptive November challenger, Democratic Sen. John Kerry (search), also easily won nominations.
Sen. Michael Crapo (search) was unapposed for the GOP renomination, virtually guaranteeing himself a second six-year term, since Democrats declined to file a challenger in the November race. It was the first time Democrats failed to put up a candidate for Senate in Idaho.
Republican Rep. Butch Otter (search) had 81 percent in trouncing token challenger Jim Pratt, a farmer, to secure nomination for a third two-year term, according to partial results.
Otter also has no November opposition at the moment since Democratic businesswoman Naomi Preston announced her withdrawal for personal reasons earlier this month. The party hopes to find a replacement by mid-June, although party leaders realize any challenger at this point would be a long shot.
Idaho's other GOP congressman, Michael Simpson, was unopposed for renomination and was heavily favored to win a fourth term this fall over former Democratic state Sen. Lin Whitworth of Inkom.
Partial results showed that Kerry, who claimed most of the state's nominating delegates in the February caucuses, polled 84 percent in the nonbinding popularity contest. "None of those listed" was polling 5 percent while Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (search), New York activist Al Sharpton (search) and perennial candidate Lyndon LaRouche (search) split the rest.
Bush claimed 93 percent of the vote but 7 percent of the Republican primary voters opted for "None of those listed" in what some saw as a protest vote.