- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Former Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney has won the Republican primary in the secretary of state race.

Denney had nearly 36 percent of the vote with 92 percent of precincts reporting from Tuesday’s election. He beat second-place finisher Phil McGrane, who had the support of retiring incumbent Ben Ysursa, by more than 10,000 votes.

Denney will face Democrat Holli Woodings in November. Woodings ran unopposed in the primary.

Denney has said he wants to be an advocate for the state to take full control of its federally managed public lands on the Idaho Land Board, of which the secretary of state is a member. The five-member board, made up of the governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general and state controller, manages 2.5 million acres of Idaho land.

Denney is currently co-chair of the legislative Federal Lands Interim Committee task force designated to study and submit a recommendation on whether Idaho should attempt to take over its federal lands.

The secretary of state is Idaho’s chief election officer, overseeing business filings.

The post comes with a history of incumbents who have held the seat for multiple terms. Ysursa has served for the past 12 years. Before him, Pete Cenarrusa was in office for seven terms.