Idaho Secretary of State election, 2014

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Idaho Secretary of State Election

Primary Date:
May 20, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Lawerence Denney Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Ben Ysursa Republican Party
Ben Ysursa.jpg

Idaho State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Controller, Superintendent

Flag of Idaho.png
The Idaho Secretary of State election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Ben Ysursa (R) was first elected in 2002 and while eligible to seek re-election in 2014, decided to retire from office at the end of his term in January 2015.[1][2]

The race to replace Ysursa included Republican candidate Lawerence Denney and Democratic candidate Holli High Woodings. Denney won election to a four-year term. Recent elections for Idaho Secretary of State yielded decisive victories for Republican candidates, as detailed in the past elections section. The contest between Denney and Woodings drew close according to a poll detailed in the polls section. Learn more about where the candidates stood by jumping down to the campaign themes section.

Idaho is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Parties decide who may vote. The Democratic Party allows unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary. The Republican Party allows only voters registered with their party. Unaffiliated voters can choose to affiliate with a party on election day, but they will be bound to that party at the next election as well.[3]


General election

Republican Party Lawerence Denney Green check mark transparent.png - State Rep.[4]
Democratic Party Holli High Woodings - State Rep.[5]

Lost in the primary

Republican Party Evan Frasure - Former State Sen.[6]
Republican Party Mitch Toryanski - Former state Sen.[7]
Republican Party Phil McGrane - Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk[8]


General election

Secretary of State of Idaho, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLawerence Denney 56.2% 241,851
     Democratic Holli High Woodings 43.8% 188,353
Total Votes 430,204
Election Results via Idaho Secretary of State.

Primary election

Republican primary

Idaho Secretary of State, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLawerence Denney 37.1% 51,041
Phil McGrane 27.9% 38,336
Evan Frasure 19.3% 26,539
Mitch Toryanski 15.7% 21,630
Total Votes 137,546
Election Results Via:Idaho Secretary of State.

Democratic primary

  • Uncontested

Campaign themes

Both candidates for Idaho Secretary of State made public statements about issues facing Idaho voters. The following sections quote these statements verbatim from candidate websites:


Lawerence Denney

Taxes I really do not mind paying my fair share of taxes. Our total tax structure should be fair and equitable as well as stable. We need to not only expect – but demand – that our elected officials utilize our tax dollars wisely and efficiently.

Budget & Spending As a fiscal conservative, I am thankful that Idaho has a constitution that mandates that we balance our budget each year. It would be too easy to say ‘yes’ to all the budget requests that are brought before the legislature each year, only to find ourselves operating in the red or having to make deeper cuts to programs and services. We have to be mindful that we have to be accountable. Raising taxes is not the right answer. [9]

—Lawerence Denney's campaign website, (2014), [10]

Holli High Woodings

I deeply believe that the greatest investment Idaho can make in economic competitiveness is through education. Yet there is also much we can do to make our state more business friendly. Simplified business licensing, easy-to-navigate online filings and state agencies with a commitment to can-do, problem-solving business assistance are a low-cost way to start. Seamless partnerships with the Idaho Tax Commission, the Department of Commerce and Bureau of Occupational Licenses (just to name a few) will help small businesses navigate the system and get down to the business of serving customers faster. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need to help them in every way possible, every day. Less paperwork, more service. [9]

—Holli High Woodings's campaign website, (2014), [11]


Lawerence Denney

I believe that we need to do everything possible to assure our children access to a good education. I also believe that the responsibility for seeing that children avail themselves of that education lies with parents – not the government. The future of our state and our country depends on sound and responsible education of our children. [9]

—Lawerence Denney's campaign website, (2014), [10]

Holli High Woodings

There is no more important issue than education in Idaho. We rank dead last in the country in education spending per child. Only 35% of our children have access to pre-school or educational daycare when the national average is almost 50%. Only one in ten of our high school freshmen eventually graduates from college. Which also makes us dead last in college attendance too. This is not putting us on track to fill or attract the skilled jobs our modern economy needs right now. And every year Idaho falls a little further behind.

That is nothing to be proud of. It’s an urgent problem that needs an even more urgent solution.

The Secretary of State is one of five members of the Idaho Land Board, which has a constitutional obligation to administer state lands for the long-term public good. One of the specific beneficiaries is our public schools—which over the years have been starved of millions of dollars from the Land Board. All of us are looking for ways to make our schools better That’s why as Secretary of State I will push to use excess revenue from the Land Board to reinvest in our schools so that we can attract more businesses and good-paying jobs to Idaho. [9]

—Holli High Woodings's campaign website, (2014), [11]

Voting rights

Lawerence Denney

Note: Denney did not publish an official position on voting rights or other elections issues on his campaign website.

Holli High Woodings

We were very fortunate for many years to have strong nonpartisan advocates—Democrat and Republican—as our Secretaries of State. They did a great job putting fairness and the interests of the people first because they recognized that voting is a fundamental freedom where partisan and special interest politics have no place. In their view, ensuring that our elections are easy, fair and open was a moral responsibility they were sworn to protect.

And that is exactly how I look at it too. I’m running for Secretary of State because your freedom to vote should not be infringed by anyone’s agenda at any time. Voting should be easy, fair and open, period. That’s what I signed up for when I registered to vote for the first time and that’s what I want for my children and my grand children. Easy, fair and open voting for all eligible voters. [9]

—Holli High Woodings's campaign website, (2014), [11]


Idaho Secretary of State - All candidates
Poll Lawerence Denney (R) Holli High Woodings (D)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
October 9-12, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Past elections


Idaho Secretary of State, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen Ysursa Incumbent 74.3% 326,453
     Democratic Mack Sermon 25.7% 113,164
Total Votes 439,617
Election Results Via: Idaho Secretary of State


Idaho Secretary of State, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen Ysursa Incumbent 100% 364,871
Total Votes 364,871
Election Results Via: Idaho Secretary of State


Idaho Secretary of State, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen Ysursa 77.5% 297,189
     Libertarian Ronald E. Perry 22.5% 86,437
Total Votes 383,626
Election Results Via: Idaho Secretary of State

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
May 20, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 19, 2014 Last day for State Board of Canvassers to meet to canvass the general election
January 5, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials in general election

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Idaho + Secretary + State + elections"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Idaho Secretary of State Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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