Malek drops out of lieutenant govenor race, endorses Bedke
By KEITH RIDLER
BOISE — Former Idaho Republican lawmaker Luke Malek has dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor and endorsed Republican Speaker of the House Scott Bedke.
The move announced Sunday leaves Bedke and Republican Rep. Priscilla Giddings as the two Republican candidates in the race facing off in the May primary.
Malek’s decision reduces the chances of more moderate Republicans splitting their votes and leading to the election of the far-right Giddings.
Malek, who served three terms in the Idaho House of Representatives before running for Congress in 2018, has received significant support since announcing his candidacy earlier this year.
“However, to prevent extremism from gaining another foothold in Idaho politics, and out of respect for my longtime friend and fellow conservative candidate, Scott Bedke, stepping aside is the best decision I can make for Idaho right now,” he said in a statement.
Bedke, of Oakley, has been in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2000, becoming speaker in 2012.
The House last week voted 49-19 to censure Giddings, of White Bird, and strip her of a committee assignment after determining she publicized the name of a 19-year-old intern who reported she was raped by another legislator and then lied to the House Ethics Committee about her actions.