No disrepect meant to Idaho's junior senator Mike Crapo; I have a far greater dislike for his colleague Larry Craig. But since the Idaho Democrats couldn't come up with a candidate to challenge the one-term senator, Crapo will waltz to another six years on the job.
As the Idaho Statesman pointed out in an editorial Friday, Crapo is sitting on a $1.5 million reelection fund, and Gem State Dems seem to be putting the party's limited resources into races it believes it can win. Indeed, recent victories in the Boise mayoral race and state legislative contests show Dems are making some headway on the state and local level.
Still, this is another example of one-party rule gone amok - a situation compounded by a prevailing popular ethos through much of the state that Idaho is GOP country and Democrats needn't even bother to try and change that. First district U.S. Rep. Butch Otter will also run uncontested bya Dem - a shame since his possible 2006 gubenatorial bid would seem to make him a vulnerable candidate for re-election to Congress.
On the plus side, the Dems do have a challenger for U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who represents the state's second district. Lin Whitworth is a former four-term state senator who actually resigned his post in the middle of the legislature's 2001 term as a protest against GOP hegemony. Whitworth, a retired railroad engineer from labor-heavy Pocatello, has a strongly populist voice, and he should give Simpson a good race.