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Steven Thayn

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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 since 2021. He previously served in the Idaho House of Representatives, representing District 11A from 2006 to 2012.

Thyan graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and his teaching certificate from Boise State University. Thyan also took a dairy herdsman course from Utah State University.

In addition to being a representative, Thyan is a high school teacher and a 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 started working on bills that would end teacher tenure. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho all share 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 says that he would like to have the discussion about enduing tenure, but wouldn’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 say that the legislation protects good teachers while making it much easier to remove poor educators from classrooms.

Sen. Hank Coe said the legislation will 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.

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

Idaho’s kindergarten system

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

Idaho is facing what some believe will be a budget gap of $200 million to $400 million in fiscal year 2012.

The aim is 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


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, a year in which Thayn was up for re-election, he collected $10,723 in donations.[8]

His largest contributors in 2010 were:

Idaho House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Steven Thayn's campaign in 2010
Thayn, Clyde$2,000
Idaho Farm Bureau$1,050
Industrial Builders Inc$1,000
Qwest Communications$600
Idaho Dental Association$500
Total Raised in 2010 $10,723


In 2008, Thayn raised $15,940.

Listed below are those who contributed the most to his campaign. [9]

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

District 11-A

Thyan represents House Seat A in Idaho House District 11. District 11 includes the northern half of Canyon County and all of Gem counties[10].


Steven is married to Sherry Thayn. They have eight children and live in Emmett, Idaho.

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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)