by Garrett Frisk
When Idaho realtor David Roth won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2022, he probably didn't expect to win the general election. After all, Idaho is a deeply conservative state, and Roth's only prior political experience was a 2020 campaign for an Idaho State House seat where he took 34.9% of the vote in the general election. But it had to be someone taking up the mantle for the party, and this time it was Roth; as expected, he polled only 28.74% of the vote against incumbent Republican Mike Crapo. Undeterred, Roth has announced he will mount another campaign in 2024; this time, he will run for U.S. House in the 2nd congressional district, challenging Republican incumbent Mike Simpson. Roth's website can be found here.
Simpson has had a long career in politics, dating back to his election to the Blackfoot City Council in 1980. He then joined the Idaho State House in 1984, where he would serve 14 years, the last six as House Speaker. Simpson first ran for the 2nd congressional district in 1998, when the incumbent--none other than Mike Crapo--retired to run for Senate. Simpson narrowly claimed the Republican nomination over fellow state representative Mark Stubbs before beating out former U.S. Representative Richard Stallings by an 8-point margin in the general election. After that, Simpson never again faced a competitive general election, not even when Stallings returned for a rematch in 2014. Most recently, Simpson won re-election with 63.59% of the vote in 2022. Once again, David Roth finds himself in an uphill battle.