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BOISE -- The May primary election is just four days away, and will pit members of the same parties against each other on the ballot. History teaches us that certain districts in this state will almost assuredly either vote Republican or Democrat. That makes some primaries on Tuesday, even more important than the general elections in November.

Thousands of dollars are being spent in GOP primary races across the state as Republicans vie for control of the Statehouse.

There are many of these races that are the de facto election, said Dr. Jim Weatherby, KTVB political analyst. The stakes are very high because control of both the House and Senate are at stake, not in partisan terms, but the question is - who will the leadership be in both the House and Senate, and will it be a more conservative leadership?

The biggest battle for leadership is happening in the House as Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, and Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, have directed $15,000 to a PAC that supports John Blattler, the primary opponent of the Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly.

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who's running unopposed in the Senate primary has spent thousands to try to unseat other Republican incumbents around the state he apparently disagrees with.

I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like that, said Weatherby. Nonini should wish very hard that he succeeds. If he does not, his welcome to the Senate may be somewhat of a rough one.

A pro-business political action committee has spent thousands of dollars supporting incumbent Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, over another incumbent Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home. They're matched up because of redistricting.

But will these personal battles leave lasting scars?

Jonathan Parker, with the Idaho GOP said, Because we are a state that is dominated by Republicans and the election often is decided in the primary, it is expected that we will have contested primary elections, and sometimes those elections can get heated; however, one thing I know for sure is that immediately following the primary election we are really good about rallying behind our nominees and beating the Democrats in November.

Which might be true, but Weatherby says these battles could reverberate into future primaries and legislative sessions.

An effective legislator typically has a long memory, said Weatherby. These wounds don't heal.

Remember, it is a closed Republican primary this year. So if you want to vote on the GOP ballot, you will have to register Republican.

As with any election, you'll need to bring your photo ID.

NewsChannel 7 will have complete primary election coverage Tuesday night, with live reaction from Democrats, Republicans, and our political experts. We'll also bring you election results wherever you are, on KTVB.com and the KTVB mobile app.

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