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BOISE — Ten-term state Rep. Gary Collins, the House tax chairman, and four-term Rep. Robert Anderst, both Nampa Republicans, announced Monday they won’t seek reelection.

The announcements came on the first day of the two-week filing period for candidates to officially file to run for the Legislature. The primary election is May 19.

“I’m making this decision with a heavy heart," Collins said in a statement. "I care deeply for my community in Nampa, and this state where I was born, raised a family, and built a business. There are many ways in which I will continue to serve and give back to the community that has given me so much. But, it’s time for me step aside in my official capacity as a state representative.”

Collins chairs the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, where all tax legislation originates; Anderst chairs the House Ways & Means Committee, a leadership panel that has wide latitude to introduce all types of legislation.

“For the past eight years it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of District 12 and Nampa in the House chamber," Anderst said in a statement. “The trust you have shown has always humbled me. The state of Idaho has been our family’s home for five generations, and I remain committed to continuing service but in new ways.”

Anderst expressed his thanks to “all those that have been so supportive of me over the years including family, friends and total strangers,” and appreciation to his two fellow lawmakers from District 12, Sen. Todd Lakey, and Rep. Rick Youngblood, both Nampa Republicans. Anderst referred to himself and the two as “the three amigos,” and said, “These two gentlemen were always a source of strength, wisdom and a joy to work with.”

The deadline to file to run for the Idaho House or Senate is 5 p.m. Friday, March 13. Minimum requirements to run include being at least age 21, being a U.S. citizen, and being a resident of the legislative district for at least a year. Both senators and representatives serve two-year terms.

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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