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State Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, has announced she’ll run for Idaho Secretary of State in 2022, joining a race that already includes Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane.

Current Secretary of State Lawerence Denney told the Idaho Press two weeks ago that he’s probably not going to seek a third term; Denney, like both Souza and McGrane, is a Republican.

“In the wake of last year’s tumultuous election, it’s clear that to preserve voters’ faith and trust in our democratic process, we must safeguard election integrity,” Souza said in a news release. “That goal will be my lodestar as Idaho’s Secretary of State.”

Souza is a fourth-term state senator, co-owner of a family business and a former critical care nurse. Prior to being elected to the Idaho Senate, she was an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Coeur d’Alene.

“Idaho elections are at risk from outside influence,” she declared in her announcement statement. “Liberal big tech companies are trying to infiltrate and manipulate our election outcomes. But whether you’re liberal or conservative, free and fair elections should not be a partisan issue.”

Souza, who represents North Idaho’s District 4 in the state Senate, currently serves on the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee and the Commerce & Human Resources Committee, of which she is vice chair.

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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