The shadow of an investigation into a non-profit he runs was not enough to deter Canyon County voters from choosing Sheriff Kieran Donahue in a three-way Republican primary.
Donahue, a 12-year veteran with the department, defeated Parma Police Chief Albert Erickson and prosecutor’s office investigator Tony Thompson. Donahue drew 44 percent of the vote in a three-way race and now will face the Constitution Party’s Robert Muse in November.
“I’m happy to see the people withstood the temptation to fall prey to the negative campaigns,” Donahue told the Statesman after the final votes were counted early Wednesday.
Donahue said he has no intention to change direction on any policies in response to the election results and that the issues his opponents brought up are ones he is already addressing.
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Both challengers cited a morale issue at the sheriff’s office as a main reason for running — 150 deputies and other employees have left over the nearly four years Donahue has been in office.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure our employees are paid more,” Donahue said. “We’ve lost a lot to other agencies. We have to do more.”
In the only other countywide race, challenger Pam White, a nine-year member of the Nampa City Council, held a steady lead over GOP incumbent Craig Hanson throughout the vote-counting, winning the third district commission seat with nearly 54 percent of the vote. With no other candidates on the November ballot, White's primary win claims the seat.
Hansen, a former jail commander for the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, was elected to the county commission’s third district four years ago and has advocated expanding the existing jail rather than building a new one as proposed by Sheriff Donahue.
Nishant Mohan: @NishantRMohan