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Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, standing right, talks to Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, center, ahead of the March 16, 2022 legislative session. Boyle defeated Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, in a Race to the House and passage to the November 8 general election.

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A recount confirmed Republican primary results for an Idaho House race that was decided by six votes.

Seven-term incumbent Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, will advance to the November general election, after defeating Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, in a close race to represent Legislative District 9. The Southwest District of Idaho includes Payette and Washington counties, as well as part of Canyon County.

A recount of the results matched the initial ballot count for the May 17 primary, Scott Graf, a spokesman for the Idaho attorney general’s office, told the Statesman via email. The attorney general’s office was tasked with overseeing the recount. Boyle received 4,636 votes, while Syme received 4,630 votes.

“It has been a great privilege to serve the citizens of Idaho,” Syme told the Statesman.

The race qualified for a free recount as its margin of victory was less than 0.1%.

“It’s a vindication of election safety and fairness in Idaho,” Syme told the Statesman. “There’s no ‘big lie’ here. And in fact, I don’t think there’s a ‘big lie’ anywhere because I believe everyone in this country is doing a great job of secure our elections.

Boyle will likely represent District 9 alongside Deputy Senate Majority Leader Abby Lee, R-Fruitland and Jacyn Gallagher, after they pass the Nov. 8 election. No Democrats or third-party candidates showed up to run for the seats.

Boyle did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the statesman.

Tight legislative races for two other incumbents

Two other Republican primary legislative races were decided with less than 40 votes but did not reach the threshold for a free recount. A losing candidate can still request a recount at a cost of $100 per precinct, Assistant Secretary of State Chad Houck previously told the Statesman.

The deadline to request a recount for the Republican primary is Tuesday. Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, who lost to his challenger Glenneda Zuiderveld by 37 votes, told the statesman he would not ask for a recount.

Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, lost to challenger and former Rep. Britt Raybould by 36 votes. Nate did not respond to requests for comment. But the Idaho Freedom Foundation, an influential conservative lobby group, announced this week the state legislator as a new senior policy researcher.

This story was originally published June 17, 2022 9:56 a.m.

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Catherine Odom is an intern reporter at the Idaho Statesman. She is a rising junior at Northwestern University majoring in journalism and international studies.

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Kevin Fixler is an investigative reporter for the Idaho Statesman. He previously covered local government, the environment and transportation at Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., and Summit Daily News in Breckenridge, Colo. He is a graduate of the University of Denver and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.
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