Ullman, Lachiondo win Ada commissioner races

Diana Lachiondo, left, and Sharon Ullman.
Diana Lachiondo, left, and Sharon Ullman.

Republican Sharon Ullman and Democrat Diana Lachiondo on Tuesday won the right to represent their parties in November's general election for seats on the three-member Ada County Commission.

Ullman beat incumbent Dave Case, who's served on the commission since Gov. Butch Otter appointed him to it in 2012, by 6.5 percent — 2,505 votes. Her fellow challenger Tom Morgan was a distant third. Democrat Kendra Kenyon, who was unopposed Tuesday, will square off against the winner of the Ullman-Case-Morgan contest in November.

Lachiondo is the city of Boise's director of community partnerships. She notched a 70-point win over Erik Berg, who owns a company that sells equipment and components for ski lifts. Lachiondo will face incumbent Republican Jim Tibbs, who ran unopposed in the primary.

Tuesday was the third battle between Case and Ullman, who lost a seat on the commission to Case in a 2012 contest characterized by nasty rhetoric.

When she was on the board of commissioners, Sharon Ullman was a vocal supporter of Dynamis, a company whose proposal to build a garbage-to-energy plant at the Ada County Landfill led to county outlays of more than $4 million with nothing to show for it.

Case criticized Ullman's role in the Dynamis decisions. Ullman said Case's harsh criticism of the company ensured the plant would never be built.

In this year's race, Ullman touted her record of fiscal management and restraint during her tenure on the commission. She advocated for a periodic re-examination of the county's expenses and better cooperation with other local governments, such as the cities, school districts and Ada County Highway District.

Lachiondo, an Ada County native, and Berg both identified management of the county's rapid growth as a priority. Lachiondo said she also wants to implement a long-term perspective on government spending. Berg raised concerns about commissioners' decisions, such as the Dynamis mess, that wasted money or led to costly legal settlements against the county. Lachiondo said responding to opioid abuse in the Treasure Valley will be another priority.

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