An open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court and every post in the Idaho Legislature were up for grabs Tuesday. Canyon County voted on candidates for sheriff. Ada and Canyon counties decided commissioner nominees. Residents in the West Ada School District chose the fate of two trustees targeted for recall.
How’d it all go? Follow this link for the latest local and statewide results, or replay our Tuesday evening live chat:
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WEST ADA VOTERS READY FOR UPHEAVAL TO BE OVER
Lori Stom, a West Ada School District voter who cast her ballot for the recall of a trustee in her zone, summed up the problems that have brought voters to this point in a single sentence: “I think it’s a big mess.”
For the past year, West Ada school trustees said they they were going to ask tough questions about how the district spends its money. They took a year off Superintendent Linda Clark’s contract, who resigned as a result. For good measure, the board terminated her contract. Upset residents petitioned to recall four of the five trustees. Two of them — Russell Joki and Carol Sayles — tried to block the recall in the courts. That failed. Then Julie Madsen and Joki resigned.
So two trustees remained to face voters Tuesday.
The board, Stom said, is supposed to represent the people. “They represented them poorly,” she said.
Stom voted to recall board Chairwoman Tina Dean.
“I’m sad because of the recall,” Stom added.
In precincts in the two zones where Dean and Sayles face recall, many of the people the Statesman interviewed Tuesday evening supported the recall.
But not everyone.
Marion Demer, who voted to retain Sayles as a trustee in her West Ada zone, said the push to dump the two came down to “pettiness.”
Recall backers took action because they weren’t getting their way, Demer said. Now, she said, she is ready for the upheaval to be over.
“Give it a rest,” she said.
TUESDAY MORNING VOTERS
Turnout at three polls in West Boise on Tuesday was similar to past primaries, election officials said, apparently unaffected by the Republican presidential primary in March.
“It’s better than we expected,” said Dawn Ewing, a poll judge at Hillview Methodist Church off Ustick Road.
Voters from all stripes, Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated got up early to cast their ballots with many motivations. Judy Allen, a Republican said she always votes.
“I just believe if you don’t vote you can’t squeak,” Ewing said at Hillview.
Elizabeth Peterson came out early hoping she would have more choices. But as an unaffiliated voter, she couldn’t vote for Republicans or Democrats for Ada County Commission and the Idaho Legislature.
“I think it’s ridiculous to have to affiliate,” Peterson said outside the New Heights Fellowship on Ustick.
Bill Light, a lifelong Republican, acknowledged he didn’t know much about local races. He moved to Idaho from Virginia in 2013 and even met Donald Trump when he gave his ex-wife Ivana tennis lessons.
He voted for Rod Beck over Patrick McDonald in the Idaho House District 15, Seat B race.
Kathi Henricks, who is retired, voted for McDonald because she said Beck had been on the public dole long enough and she liked McDonald.
She voted for Ada County commissioner David Case over former commissioner Sharon Ullman.
“I was for Sharon before she lost the taxpayers’ money,” she said referring to a failing energy project.
She voted for Robin Brody for Supreme Court justice. Light voted for Clive Strong. Sergio Gutierrez was the leading vote-getter among those interviewed.
“A good friend who knows (Gutierrez) posted nice things on Facebook about him,” said Marilyn Hartman, a lunch lady at Horizon Elementary.
Democrats James and Patti Stevenson, both retired, also voted for Brody, but their main partisan choice was T.J. Thomson over Stanley Johnson in the Ada County Board of Commissioners District 2 race.
“You don’t have many choices,” Patti Stevenson said after voting at Summerwind Stem Academy. “The way things are going, who would want to run with all the money, corruption and propaganda,” she said.
Stefan Nuxoll came out to vote for Democratic Rep. John McCrostie at Hillview Methodist Church. A software developer, he was pleased with McCrostie’s efforts to keep constituents informed and his willingness to engage on Facebook.
He remains a Bernie Sanders supporter, but if Sanders doesn’t get the Democratic nomination he won’t vote for Hillary Clinton.
“I’ll go with the Green Party instead.”