A third Democrat has announced a bid for the Senate seat currently held by second-term GOP Sen. Jim Risch: Jim Vandermaas. Vandermaas ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat in 2018, taking 15.8% of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary; Cristina McNeil won that primary, but lost to current GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher the following November.

Vandermaas sent out a press release over the weekend announcing his run; you can read my full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Tuesday's edition of the Idaho Press. Two other Democrats, Boise businesswoman Nancy Harris and Shelley farmer Travis Oler, both already have launched their campaigns, as has Risch, who is seeking a third six-year term.

Constitution Party hopeful Ray Writz also is running.

Vandermaas, a retired law enforcement officer, volunteer firefighter and paramedic and businessman from Eagle, said in his release, “We need to defeat Risch in 2020, not just to stop Mitch McConnell’s permanent filibuster, but to regain control of the Senate to protect Idaho and our country.”

Vandermaas said in his release, “We have an announcement tour starting soon, (and) will be traveling throughout the state.”

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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