The last swing district race we will highlight here at the Idaho Bulletin is Senate District 6. These four districts — SD 6, 15, 26, and 29 — are arguably the swingiest in our state. Following a Primary Election where far right hardliners picked up a significant number of seats, the results of these swing district races will have big implications for the dynamics in the Statehouse and within the caucuses. Soon enough, we’ll find out which way they swing.
- Location: North Central Idaho
- Incumbent: Dave Nelson
- Partisan Lean: Toss-Up
- R: Dan Foreman
- C: James Hartley*
- D: Dave Nelson
Dan Foreman was born in Lake Forest, IL and is a former Idaho State Senator who lost reelection in 2018 and 2020. He has law enforcement and military experience, and his platform is primarily focused on criminalizing abortion, including in cases of rape, incest, child pregnancy, and when the health of the mother is in jeopardy. He advocates for the women and doctors involved in an abortion to be charged with murder. Clearly not deterred by controversy, he was the sole vote against the budget for University of Idaho while representing SD 6, the district’s biggest employer, and was caught on camera yelling at his constituents on multiple occasions.
Foreman’s endorsements include: Gun Owners of America, Make Liberty Win, and the Farm Bureau
Dave Nelson is a fourth-generation Idahoan who grew up on a Genesee wheat ranch. He is currently the State Senator for District 6 and is running for reelection. In the legislature he served on the Governor’s Broadband Task Force and Economic Recovery Advisory Committee. He has a reputation for working to build bi-partisan relationships and consensus on the issues he takes on.
Nelson’s endorsements include: Idaho Education Association, Idaho Children are Primary, Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho, Idaho AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood, and Conservation Voters for Idaho.
* We would have liked to include a profile of the Constitution Party candidate, but there is little to no information on James Hartley available.
Why this race matters
Home of the University of Idaho, this district’s boundaries saw big changes in the redistricting process and now includes more rural areas north of the previous boundaries. The outcome of this race will mean two very different options for District 6’s constituents, and it’s anyone’s guess who will prevail. Though Republican Dan Foreman has come up short in his recent campaigns, he is a perennial candidate and former State Senator which means his name is familiar to many in the district; but that doesn’t mean voters know his extreme views on the issues. Democrat Dave Nelson has deep community ties and the incumbent advantage — though with it being a midterm election and on the heels of redistricting, that incumbency might be less advantageous. Whether it’s the moderate Democrat known for bi-partisan efforts or the culture war, conservative Republican who wins on November 8th, the implications for the caucuses will be significant.