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Wednesday, April 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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About this race

As two-term GOP Superintendent Tom Luna retires, there’s a hot race to succeed him between Democrat Jana Jones, the former chief deputy superintendent who narrowly lost to Luna in 2006, and Republican Sherri Ybarra, a political newcomer who won a four-way GOP primary in May with 28.7 percent of the vote. Four-year term. Position pays $101,150 a year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Idaho

Candidate Votes Pct
Sherri Ybarra (R) 216,961 50.67%
Jana Jones (D) 211,246 49.33%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

Related coverage

Ybarra unclear on budget figures in public instruction presentation to legislators

BOISE – Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra wants local school officials to decide how money should be spent in the classroom. During her first budget presentation to the Legislature on Thursday morning, Ybarra said she hadn’t yet determined how funds for some of her biggest policy initiatives would be spent. Instead, Ybarra said, she wanted to determine those details once she saw how much money the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee budgets for each line item.

Ybarra’s first school budget pitch is brief, short on details

New state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra gave an unusually brief public school budget pitch to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning, calling for a 6.4 percent increase in state funding for schools next year – well under Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed 7.4 percent increase. “I…

Ybarra addresses school choice rally, backs charter schools as part of system

Sherri Ybarra More than 500 people, including hundreds of Idaho charter school students wearing bright-yellow fleece scarves, gathered on the state Capitol steps today for a rally celebration National School Choice Week, and state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra offered supportive words. “Instead of pitting charter…

Ybarra hires her local newspaper editor as new spokesman

Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra, who is from Mountain Home, has hired Kelly Everitt, who was managing editor of the Mountain Home News for the past 26 years, as her communications specialist, Idaho Education News reports. Reporter Kevin Richert writes that Everitt had announced in a newspaper column last…

Eye on Boise: Otter names Field to head correction board

Gov. Butch Otter has named Debbie Field, former chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, former state drug czar and former chairman of Otter’s re-election campaign, as the new chair of the state Board of Correction. That’s the board that oversees Idaho’s prison system; former chair Robin Sandy retired from the post a week ago. “Debbie has had a distinguished career as a first-rate lawmaker and member of my Cabinet. I am pleased she is joining the board and I have no doubt she will make a meaningful contribution in her new role,” Otter said.

Ybarra’s budget proposal calls for 6.4% boost for schools, vs. Otter’s 7.4%

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will push for a 6.4 percent increase in public school funding for next year, slightly less than the 7.4 percent boost sought by Gov. Butch Otter, Idaho Education News reports. Reporter Clark Corbin reports that Otter’s budget team and…

Eye on Boise: ‘Instant racing’ terminals concern some lawmakers

Idaho legislative leaders say they’re concerned about the slot machine-like “instant racing” terminals that are cropping up around the state, including at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls. The machines were authorized under a 2013 law aimed at allowing pari-mutuel betting on past horse races. “I think the extent of it maybe is a surprise, how fast it’s growing, and exactly what they’re doing,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. “The machines have been upgraded a lot since what we saw.”

Ybarra: State ed department will be the ‘go-to place’

New state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra is holding her first press conference today, at which she introduced her executive staff. In addition to interim Chief Deputy Pete Koehler, Special Assistant to the Superintendent Tim Corder, and Special Education Director Charlotte “Charlie” Silva, she introduced Will…

Eye on Boise: Correction officials considered firing squad

Bring back the firing squad as a means of execution in Idaho? That’s something the state Department of Correction has been exploring, as states continue to struggle to obtain drugs for executions by lethal injection.

Ybarra names special ed chief: Boise district’s special ed supervisor

State schools Supt.-elect Sherri Ybarra has announced another of the key staffers she’ll bring on when she takes office in January, Idaho Education News reports: Charlotte Silva, whose 30-year career in education most recently includes serving as the Boise school district’s special education supervisor, will…

Student journalist makes waves: Plagiarism with a purpose

A local high school newspaper included a plagiarized editorial in its latest issue – intentionally. Student writer Harmony Soto, after first contacting Boise Weekly writer George Prentice for permission, published his piece as her own – then acknowledged it in a biting editorial note, reports…

Eye on Boise: Ysursa advises successor Denney to ‘stay the course’

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, as he accepted a major civic engagement award from the City Club of Boise last week, had this message for his successor, Secretary of State-elect Lawerence Denney: “Folks will be watching.” Ysursa said, “My advice to him is stay the course” when it comes to Idaho elections. He noted that Denney already has decided to keep Ysursa’s current chief deputy, Tim Hurst, and as much of the current staff in the office as possible.

Corder to be a top staffer to Supt-elect Sherri Ybarra

Idaho state schools Superintendent-elect Sherri Ybarra has been mum since the election, but she was at the Capitol during yesterday’s organizational session, meeting with lawmakers and others. Accompanying her was former Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, who acknowledged in response to a reporter’s questions that…

Eye on Boise: Capitol seeks to meet disabilities act with upgrades

Idaho’s state Capitol is due for $400,000 in accessibility upgrades, to bring the renovated historic structure in line with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They range from new wheelchair-accessible seating areas in the fourth-floor public galleries of the House and Senate, to improved ramps and handrails in various locations, to new signs.

Crunching the numbers in the superintendent’s race…

Democratic candidate for state schools superintendent Jana Jones carried nine counties on election night, reports Idaho Education News reporter Kevin Richert reports: Ada, Bannock, Blaine, Latah, Teton, Bonneville, Nez Perce, Power and Shoshone. Republican candidate Sherri Ybarra carried the other 35, in her narrow win….

Ybarra has big challenges ahead; educators reach out to her

The leaders of Idaho’s three most powerful education groups sent Sherri Ybarra a letter Wednesday morning inviting her to their next meeting, Idaho Education News reports. The letter, sent just hours after Ybarra won a tight race to become Idaho’s next state superintendent of public…

Idaho Republican candidates sweep all statewide offices

BOISE – It took until Wednesday morning at 7, but GOP newcomer Sherri Ybarra eked out a slim win in the race for Idaho state schools chief, completing a Republican sweep of all statewide offices that echoed results in Idaho elections since 2006. Democrats picked up one seat in the state Legislature thanks to upsets in Moscow and Lewiston, but GOP dominance of the Idaho Statehouse remained otherwise unchanged: 80 percent of seats went to Republicans, down from 81 percent.

Republicans roll in Idaho - again

Here’s a link to my full day-after story at on Idaho’s election results. It took until this morning at 7, but GOP newcomer Sherri Ybarra eked out a slim win in the race for Idaho state schools chief, completing a Republican sweep of all…

Ybarra statement: ‘I am honored and proud’

Sherri Ybarra, Idaho’s newly, and narrowly, elected state superintendent of schools, has issued this statement: “First I want to thank my family for standing by my side and for all of their love and support. I want to give a huge thank you to all…

Ybarra wins close race after long night of vote-counting

The results from Tuesday’s election are finally complete, and Republican Sherri Ybarra has defeated Democrat Jana Jones for state school superintendent by 5,715 votes, a razor-thin 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. Here’s a link to our full story at on the results in Idaho’s…