Boise & Garden City

Boise mayor announces bid to seek fifth consecutive term

Boise Mayor David Bieter announced Thursday that he would seek an unprecedented fifth term.

If re-elected to another four-year term, the Boise native would further cement his position as the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.

“We’ve accomplished a lot, but there’s a lot left to do,” Bieter said in a news release. “Whether we talk about protecting our beautiful foothills, creating a modern transportation system, preventing chronic homelessness, or increasing access to affordable housing, this campaign will be for the people of Boise.”

Bieter, 59, was first elected to the position in 2003, although it was not his first foray into public service. He worked for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office and as civil counsel to Bonner County before opening a private practice in Boise.

After his parents were killed in a car accident in 1999, he was appointed to fill his father’s seat in the Idaho House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2002.

Bieter said his platform is based on both what he’s accomplished since taking office — his campaign website cites his “proven record” — and what he sees for the future of the city.

His website cites “recent successes” such as helping Boise remain safe, promoting a “strong dynamic local economy” and “opening the way for the expansion and upgrading of the Main Library Campus in downtown Boise.”

The city is preparing to build a new, modernized library on the same land the current main branch occupies. The project is contentious, however, and a citizen initiative recently collected more than 7,000 signatures to try to get the $85 million library on the November ballot.

Bieter’s website indicates that his future plans include advocating for a local option sales tax, improving transportation in the city and working to build on the city’s homelessness initiatives.

TJ Thomson, a member of the Boise City Council, shared his support for the mayor and said Bieter is “unquestionably the best person to run the city at this time.”

“Each time he’s run, he’s gotten even better,” Thomson said. “He’s got a deep love of the city and it shows.”

Bieter is not the only person in the race. His opposition includes Matt Kilburn, who is running to be Idaho’s first openly gay mayor, and Adriel J. Martinez, a veteran who ran for City Council in previous elections.

The election is set to take place on Nov. 5.

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.