Difference between revisions of "Steven Thayn"

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Revision as of 12:11, 8 October 2013

Steven Thayn
Idaho State Senate District 8
In office
December 1, 2012-Present
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 3
Base salary$16,116/year
Per diem$122/day outside Boise, $49/day otherwise
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Idaho House of Representatives District 11A
Date of birthJanuary 30, 1954
Place of birthRichland, WA
Office website
Campaign website
Steven Thayn is a Republican member of the Idaho State Senate, representing District 8. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012. He previously served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2006 to 2012.

Thyan earned his B.S. in Political Science from Boise State University. His professional experience includes working as a high school teacher and farmer.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Thayn served on the following committees:

Idaho Committee Assignments, 2013
Joint Finance-Appropriations


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Thayn served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Thayn served on these committees:


Teacher tenure

In 2011, Wyoming and Montana worked on bills that would end teacher tenure. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho all shared heavily-Republican legislatures in the 2011 session. Anti-tenure ideas came from Republicans in Wyoming and Montana, raising the question about whether a similar plan could come to the Idaho.

Rep. Thayn of Idaho said that he wanted to have the discussion about enduing tenure, but did’t make a firm commitment to supporting the idea.

"The current system helps teachers more than it helps students," said Thayn. "Having tenure doesn’t help students. So yes, I think that discussion should come to Idaho."

Advocates for the bill in Wyoming said that the legislation protected good teachers while making it much easier to remove poor educators from classrooms.

Sen. Hank Coe said the legislation would make teachers more accountable to the people who pay their salaries, the taxpayers.

“People flat don’t like tenure,” Coe said. “People in the real world don’t like it. It doesn’t exist in any other business.”

Rep. Derek Skees said he “want(s) to make tenure basically illegal in the state of Montana.”

"Any environment that legalizes bad behavior needs to be removed, and I think tenure legalizes bad behavior,” said Skees.

Skees’ plan not only included K-12 public school teachers, but university professors as well.[1]

Idaho’s kindergarten system

Rep. Thayn wanted to overhaul Idaho’s kindergarten system and integrate parents into the education process. Thayn believed the move would save more than $50 million, a figure he counted on for the plan to gain traction with state representatives and senators.

Idaho was facing what some believed would be a budget gap of $200 million to $400 million in fiscal year 2012.

The aim was to cut the amount school districts receive to pay for kindergarten instruction and give schools the flexibility to create their own programs.

In Thayn’s vision, schools would hire kindergarten coordinators, staffers assigned to provide support, curriculum, and technical expertise to parents of students. Parents would then take curriculum directives and teach them directly to their own children, thereby eliminating the need for kindergarten teachers.[2]



See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2012

Thayn won election in the 2012 election for Idaho State Senate Idaho State Senate District 8. Thayn defeated Terry Gestrin and Alan D. Ward in the May 15 Republican primary and defeated Joanna Clausen (D) and Kirsten Faith Richardson (I) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[3][4][5]

Idaho State Senate, District 8, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSteven Thayn 61% 13,068
     Democratic Joanna Clausen 31% 6,656
     Independent Kirsten Faith Richardson 8% 1,713
Total Votes 21,437

Idaho State Senate District 8 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteven Thayn 44.6% 3,312
Alan D. Ward 27.8% 2,065
Terry Gestrin 27.6% 2,053
Total Votes 7,430


See also:Idaho House of Representatives elections, 2010

Thayn won re-election to District Seat 11A in 2010 with no opposition. He defeated Mike Pullin in the Republican primary on May 25th by a margin of 3,464 to 1,856. The general election took place on November 2, 2010.[6]

Idaho House of Representatives, District 11A (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Steven Thayn (R) 11,687 100%


On November 4, 2008, Republican Steven Thayn won re-election to the Idaho House of Representatives District 11A receiving 59.9% of the vote (11,538 votes), ahead of Democrat Bob Solomon who received 40.1% of the vote (7,724 votes).[7]

Idaho House of Representatives, District 11A (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Steven Thayn (R) 11,538 59.9%
Bob Solomon (D) 7,724 40.1%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Thayn is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Thayn raised a total of $59,050 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 30, 2013.[8]

Steven Thayn's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Idaho State Senate, District 8 Won $14,535
2010 Idaho State House, District 11A Won $10,723
2008 Idaho State House, District 11A Won $15,940
2006 Idaho State House, District 11A Won $12,985
2004 Idaho State Senate, District 11 Defeated $4,867
Grand Total Raised $59,050


Thayn won election to the Idaho State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Thayn raised a total of $14,535.


In 2010, a year in which Thayn was up for re-election, he collected $10,723 in donations.[9]

His largest contributors in 2010 were:


In 2008, Thayn raised $15,940.

Listed below are those who contributed the most to his campaign. [10]

Donor Amount
Canyon County Republican Central CMTE $2,000
Steven Thayn $1,500
Mike McEvoy $1,000
Michael McEvoy $1,000
Idaho Farm Bureau $1,000
Clyde Thayn $1,000
Carolyn Thayn $1,000
House Republican Victory Fund of Idaho $1,000


Idaho Freedom Index

The Idaho Freedom Foundation, an Idaho-based, nonprofit educational research institute, released its "Idaho Freedom Index" in 2013. The index intended to show how Idaho legislators voted on the principles the Foundation seeks to promote. It measured each state legislator based on two tiers, which include whether legislators voted for or against bills that would create or eliminate government agencies, programs, and regulations, and bills that would impact the free market in a positive or negative way. Scores ranged from the highest possible score for members of the state Senate (194 points) and for members of the state House (180 points). A higher score indicated that the legislator voted more in favor of the values supported by the Foundation.[11] Thayn received a score of 66 points in the 2013 index, ranking 7th out of 35 members of the Idaho State Senate that were evaluated for the study.


Steven and his wife, Sherry, have eight children.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Leland Heinrich
Idaho State Senate District 8
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sheryl L. Nuxoll (R)
Idaho House of Representatives District 11A
Succeeded by
Gayle Batt (R)