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Eye On Boise

Wed., May 22, 2013, 8 a.m.

Election results: Two of three GBAD incumbents ousted

Yesterday was Election Day across the state, with elections for an array of school district and special district races. In some of the most notable races, two of three incumbents were defeated for seats on the Greater Boise Auditorium District board, two of three members elected to the board of the financially troubled Nampa School District are new, and in the Coeur d’Alene school board race, a slate of conservative Republican activists, including an appointed incumbent who home-schooled his children, was defeated by challengers.

Voter turnout is typically low for the low-profile races; in Ada County, where ballot issues included the Auditorium District, school board races in Meridian, Kuna and Melba, a bond issue in Eagle, and sewer district races in Eagle and West Boise, a total of 9,457 ballots were cast, for a turnout of 5.38 percent of registered voters; you can see full results here.

For the GBAD board, unofficial final results showed incumbent Peter Oliver winning a two-year term by the narrowest of margins, just 19 votes, over challenger George Tway. For the two six-year terms, challenger Jim Walker was the highest vote-getter, with 24 percent, followed by challenger Steve Berch at 22 percent. Incumbents Rob Perez and Stephanie Astorquia trailed with 19.43 percent and 19.67 percent, followed by challengers John May, 11.37 percent, and Noah Bard, 3.44 percent.

Nampa School District voters returned just one incumbent to their school board, Bob Otten, the Idaho Statesman reports. Twelve-year trustee Dale Wheeler was defeated by challenger Mike Fuller; and former board member Brian McGourty won a three-way race for an open seat after board chairman Scott Kido decided not to seek re-election.

In Coeur d’Alene, school board incumbents Brent Regan and Ann Seddon, both of whom were backed by the conservative Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, were defeated by challengers Christa Hazel and Dave Eubanks. Tom Hearn won an open seat; Hazel, Eubanks and Hearn all were backed by Balance North Idaho, a group that countered the Reagan Republicans’ push to target local non-partisan races and used the slogan “qualifications over ideology.” Reagan Republicans-endorsed candidates did win two seats on the Post Falls school board, however. They lost bids for two seats on the Kootenai Hospital District board; you can read a full report here from S-R reporter Scott Maben.

In other election results, the Idaho Falls Post Register reports that Salmon-area voters again rejected a school bond to replace the local elementary and middle schools – the ninth defeat for the proposal in eight years – and also voted down a $3.6 million proposal for safety repairs at the schools. A state loan program will now step in to cover the safety repairs, and local taxpayers will have to repay the loan. Jefferson School District’s supplemental levy measure failed.

The Boise Guardian reports that just six voters cast ballots in another contest, for a $325 million bond issue proposed by the Spring Valley CID north of Eagle. Four of the six favored the bond, giving it the needed two-thirds majority; future homeowners will have to repay the debt.

Idaho Education News has a roundup here on school bond and levy votes around the state; they report that voters around Idaho said yes to at least $128.7 million in bonds and levies.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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