Bill Manny

One clear winner in Tuesday's primary election: Idaho women

Never before has Idaho had a woman be the lieutenant governor. Never before has Idaho had three women hold at least three statewide offices at the same time. Never before has Idaho had a woman as its major-party nominee for governor.

But Idaho is likely to have all those now. And while the enthusiasm that candidate Paulette Jordan generated in the Democratic primary was obvious in her runaway win, Republican women did well, too.

Former Boise state Rep. Julie Ellsworth beat two finance professionals to win the treasurer’s race. Since there is no Democratic nominee, Idaho will have a female treasurer.

Former Rep. Janice McGeachin from Idaho Falls won the five-way race to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, and she will face newcomer Kristin Collum in November. Idaho will have a woman as its lieutenant governor.

Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will face Boise government teacher Cindy Wilson, the Democratic nominee. So Idaho will continue to have a female state schools chief.

Democrats nominated Jill Humble to challenge Republican Secretary of State Lawerence Denney.

In fact, in every statewide office in which Democrats offered a candidate (the controller and attorney general were unopposed), the nomination went to a woman. And the only male nominees for statewide office from either party came in races with no female candidates running serious campaigns.

And in the one open federal race, Democrats nominated Christina McNeil to face former Republican state Sen. Russ Fulcher for the 1st Congressional District seat in Congress. (Fulcher did beat Christy Perry, as well as five male opponents, to win the GOP nomination.)

The Canyon County commission will have a majority of women. Ada County could have a majority of women on the board of commissioners: Republican Sharon Ullman will face Democrat Kendra Kenyon for Seat 3; Democrat Diana Lachiondo will challenge Republican Jim Tibbs for Seat 1.

Regardless of whether Idaho elects a female as governor in November, many women in 2018 already have made Idaho electoral history.

Bill Manny is the Statesman's community engagement editor:; 208-377-6406; Twitter/Instagram @whmanny.
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