BOISE, Idaho -

U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has a Republican primary challenger for Idaho's 2nd Congressional District seat with 11 months to go until the election.

Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to be Simpson's opponent in May 2014.

Simpson has been in office since 1998 and has beaten primary and general election opponents including tea party-backed candidate Chick Heileson during the last two contests.

Smith, a Heileson supporter who helped him raise money, has taken a role in Idaho Falls affairs, including criticizing former city attorney Dale Storer who quit last September after acknowledging he overbilled the city for his legal work.

The 51-year-old Smith plans to make a formal announcement Thursday about his challenge to Simpson to represent the congressional district that covers eastern Idaho.