Sherri Ybarra, the Republican candidate for Idaho superintendent of public instruction, is clarifying her marital history after an interview she did with me in which she said she and her husband came to Mountain Home in 1996.
Ybarra now acknowledges that she and her husband, Matthew Ybarra, were married in 1999 after she and her previous husband were divorced following their move to Mountain Home in 1996.
Here is what Ybarra told me in a taped interview when I asked her about her family for my story published Sunday, “Racing to lead Idaho’s schools”:
“My husband was in the military, and we traveled, and I was able to substitute teach a lot. And then we landed in Mountain Home in 1996 and decided to stay here in Mountain Home. This is where my son was born and raised.”
When I asked how long she and her husband had been married, she said “nearly 20 years.”
Sherri and her husband will have been married 16 years in March.
Ybarra said she wasn’t trying to cover up her divorce. She was responding to my question about her family, she said, and Ybarra and their son are her family. “That is what I referenced,” she said.
She said she does not consider her first husband family and didn’t make the distinction about her divorce when we talked.
“My brain doesn’t operate in the past” she said.
Ybarra is vague on her first marriage. She said she doesn’t recall exactly how long she was married and doesn’t know precisely when she was divorced.
“It’s been so long,” she said.
I asked Ybarra about her marital history after receiving a call from a reader over the weekend.
Ybarra’s vagueness follows several other miscues during her campaign. She has failed to vote in most of the primary and general elections since coming to Idaho and she was accused of plagiarism by her Democratic opponent, Jana Jones, after portions of Jones’ website were copied onto Ybarra’s website. Ybarra later apologized.