Two key elected positions in Boise County — sheriff and prosecutor — are vacant, and county commissioners are charged with appointing people to serve the remainder of the terms of those elected positions.
Ben Roeber, who worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 18 years, resigned as sheriff in April to take a job with the state. It was too late to take his name off the ballot for the May primary election, which is Tuesday.
Prosecutor Jolene Maloney, appointed in April last year, left her job last month following a felony DUI charge. Her next court appearance is in June. Maloney’s name also will be on the ballot.
The Boise County Republican Central Committee provided county commissioners with recommendations to fill the positions, but Commission Chairman Alan Ward said commissioners will hold off until after the Tuesday primary election to make their selections.
“We have the good fortune to see what the people want to have happen,” Ward said.
In the sheriff’s race, the only names that will appear on the ballot are Roeber and Daniel Lenz, both running as Republicans. Lenz could not be reached for comment, and county officials were unsure of his employment history.
Three others filed as write-ins in the Republican race: Kaczmarek, a sheriff’s deputy; Jon Cooper, local businessman; and Alan Hart, a self-employed electrical contractor, according to official filings with the clerk’s office and The Idaho World newspaper.
There was a rumor in Boise County that those voting for the write-ins would have to spell the candidates’ names correctly for them to count, but an elections expert with the state said that’s not true.
“Misspellings will still be counted,” Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst said. “I don’t know where (the rumor) came from. I’ve been doing elections for over 30 years, and we’ve never required it to be exactly right. If they leave the first name off, it’s still good.”
Some have speculated that word of Roeber’s unexpected departure may not have spread, and he could win the primary.
If that happens, and Roeber files to officially withdraw from the race, the Republican Central Committee will pick the candidate for the November election.
Maloney’s name is the only one that will appear on the ballot for the prosecutor’s race. Two others filed to be write-ins for the Republican primary: Ross Pittman, a deputy prosecutor in the Boise County Prosecutor’s Office, and Aaron Tribble, an Eagle attorney.
If Maloney wins and withdraws from the race, the Republican committee will select the candidate for the November election.
Those who prevail in these primary races could go uncontested in the fall. But there may be write-in candidates that are not party-affiliated in the November election, Hurst said.
Ward, the county commission chairman, said commissioners will make a decision on filling the sheriff and prosecutor vacancies on Wednesday.
The Republican committee’s top recommendations were Kaczmarek, the veteran sheriff’s deputy, and Tribble, the Eagle attorney.
Second on those lists were Pittman, the deputy prosecutor, and Hart, the electrical contractor. Commissioners may choose any of the recommended candidates, not just the top selections.