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Thursday, April 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Election results from around the state…

In election results around Idaho, Boise’s city council races were won by former state Rep. Holli Woodings, incumbent TJ Thomson and activist Lisa Sanchez, and voters overwhelmingly approved renewal of an open space tax levy. Nampa Mayor Bob Henry, who was first elected in 2013, lost to challenger Debbie Kling; in 2013, Henry had narrowly defeated three-term Nampa Mayor Tom Dale.

In Idaho Falls, Mayor Rebecca Casper will face a runoff in December with City Councilor Barbara Ehart, after Casper took 47 percent of the vote to Ehart’s 27 percent, but failed to win a majority. State Rep. Jeff Thompson pulled in 23 percent; the Post Register has a full report here. Voters in Star turned back a recall attempt on their mayor, Chad Bell, with 61 percent opposing the move; Councilman Kevin Nielsen also easily survived a recall attempt, with 60 percent of voters opposing it.

In Post Falls, a six-way race for a single open seat on the City Council resulted in a narrow win – by just seven votes – for former longtime Coeur d’Alene city parks director Steve Anthony, who received 31.8 percent of the vote, 455 votes. Bobby Wilhelm, an ex-con and former drug dealer who’s now clean and sober and whose family long has owned a local bar, was in second place with 31.31 percent, 448 votes; you can read my full story here at

Two-thirds of the way through vote-counting last night, Wilhelm was narrowly ahead. “I’m surprised I’m doing decent,” he said. “I just have a home-court advantage for the minute. You know, these other guys, they’re the foreigners, but they’re the ones with the experience. So we’ll see how this rolls.”

Explosive growth in the North Idaho city drove interest in the race for the open seat; Wilhelm was the most stridently anti-growth candidate among the group, after becoming incensed over a development proposed near his home. He’s the author of the memoir, “A True Story: Bobby Convict, School of Hard Knocks.”

In Pocatello, a $16 million jail bond failed by just 43 votes, while Mayor Brian Blad won a third term against five challengers. Meanwhile, Bingham County voters turned down a proposal to join the new eastern Idaho community college district.

In Lewiston, the Lewiston Tribune reports that two newcomers, Kathy Schroeder and John Pernsteiner, joined incumbents Mike Collins and Bob Blakey to top a field of nine candidates for Lewiston City Council. Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert was re-elected, but two incumbent city councilors, John Webster and Walter Steed, were defeated.

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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