Elections

Update: Candidate who trails by 6 votes in Boise legislative race requests recount

Republican incumbent Fred Martin, left, defeated Democratic challenger Jim Bratnober by six votes.
Republican incumbent Fred Martin, left, defeated Democratic challenger Jim Bratnober by six votes.

Six votes separated the Democratic loser from the Republican winner in a west Boise legislative district. So the Democrat, Jim Bratnober, said Friday that he has requested a recount of the Election Day tally.

Bratnober seeks to unseat three-term incumbent Fred Martin in District 15.

“After listening to those who see that their sitting representatives have let them down, I feel obligated to ensure they’ve all been heard,” Bratnober said in a news release. “I am therefore requesting a recount.”

The story below was published Nov. 6 under the headline, “This Boise district’s legislators were all red. Now 2 will be blue. The 3rd might be too.”

An all-red legislative district in west Boise came close to turning entirely blue in Tuesday’s election.

Two of the three incumbent Republican lawmakers lost their seats in District 15, and the third hung on by just six votes.

State Reps. Lynn Luker and Patrick McDonald lost their races in District 15 to Democratic challengers Steve Berch and Jake Ellis, respectively. Berch, in his third match with Luker, earned 54.5 percent of the vote. Ellis received 50.9 percent against McDonald.

State Sen. Fred Martin edged challenger Jim Bratnober, splitting the race almost 50/50. Idaho law allows the loser of a race to ask for a recount in the event that the difference between candidates is less than or equal to one-tenth of one percent.

“I owe it to the voters,” Bratnober told the Statesman in a phone interview Wednesday.

The district extends from Chinden Boulevard south to I-84, and from Maple Grove Road west to Cloverdale Road in its southern half and Eagle Road (Idaho 55) in its northern half.

Outside of Ada County, a handful of other Republican legislators lost to Democratic opponents. Rep. Steve Miller, R-Fairfield, lost to Democrat Muffy Davis, who received 68 percent of the vote. In Eastern Idaho’s District 29, Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello, will be replaced by Democrat Chris Abernathy.

Republicans picked up a seat in the House thanks to North Idaho voters. Democratic incumbent Rep. Margaret Gannon, appointed to replace former Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan, lost the District 5A seat to Bill Goesling. In the same district, Republican Sen. Dan Foreman lost to challenger David Nelson.

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