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Tea Party Candidates Claim Victories In North Idaho

Campaign photo

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 the northern part of the state

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

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

“Stunned. Not surprised. It went to stunned,” Dave Oliveria said. He runs the Spokesman-Review's north Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online.

Oliveria said just last year, Mary Souza lost a bid for Coeur d'Alene mayor.

“The city of CdA rejected her six months ago, and now she beats a multi-term incumbent. ”

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