What Bieter is saying the day after McLean won more votes than he did, forcing runoff

Correction: This mayoral runoff is not the city’s first. The Statesman has written a story looking at past runoffs.

Mayor David Bieter vowed to press on Wednesday in the race for mayor, saying a runoff election will allow him to focus more sharply on the differences between him and Lauren McLean.

Bieter, 60, will face McLean, 45, in a runoff election after neither candidate took a majority of the vote in Tuesday’s mayoral election. McLean had a 15-point lead over Bieter with all precincts reporting.

“The results from last night’s election made one thing clear — the people of Boise need more time and a robust dialogue to determine who their next mayor is,” Bieter said in an emailed statement. “It’s not a surprising result in a field of seven candidates — in fact, I welcome the opportunity to distinguish myself even more with my main competitor, Council Member McLean.”

The runoff election will be held Dec. 3 and will include only Bieter and McLean on the ballot. It is required by a city ordinance when no mayoral candidate gets a majority of the vote. It will cost the city about $100,000.

Bieter’s statement followed some speculation that he might drop out. Had he done that, a runoff election would still have been held, said Chelsea Carattini, spokeswoman for the Ada County Elections office.

Jamie Heinzerling, Boise’s deputy city clerk, said Wednesday before Bieter made his announcement that the third-place candidate would go on the ballot if one of the top two vote-getters dropped out. That would have been Ada County Highway District Commission President Rebecca Arnold. Arnold took 13.2% of the vote Tuesday, compared with McLean’s 45.7% and Bieter’s 30.3%.

“Over the next four weeks, we will work even harder to bring this election to more Boiseans so they can determine who they trust with the future of our city,” Bieter said.

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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.