Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on tonight’s election results, though of course the counting continues. One thing that’s clear: In a primary election that highlighted a big rift in Idaho’s Republican Party, voters on Tuesday appeared to be backing two-term Gov. Butch Otter over a stiff challenge from tea party Republicans disillusioned with his leadership. Challengers who came from the right after an array of sitting GOP state officials appear to have mostly fallen short.
Incidentally, Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson told Eye on Boise tonight that he expects to run for another term as party chairman.
Results have been extremely slow coming in from North Idaho tonight, but a few races from around the state are becoming more clear now: In District 9, with 84 percent of the vote in, challenger Abby Lee led eight-term Sen. Monty Pearce, the Senate resources chairman, 55 percent to 45 percent. In District 15, with 80 percent of the vote counted, Sen. Fred Martin was holding off tea party challenger Diego Rodriguez, who campaigned against college and public schools, 59 percent to 41 percent. In District 1, Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, appears to be being edged out by GOP challenger Sage Dixon, though there are still more votes to be counted there.
Meanwhile, Pocatello voters rejected a move to repeal their anti-discrimination ordinance regarding sexual orientation.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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