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Monday, September 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Big delays in Idaho legislative race results, but House Minority Leader Rusche appears to have lost

Legislative election results have been hard to come by tonight from various parts of the state, with zero results reported to the Secretary of State’s website from Bonner, Latah, Nez Perce and Canyon counties, and just three precincts out of 73 from Kootenai County. And this is well after midnight.

However, Nez Perce County – the same county where Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney is volunteering tonight as a poll worker – has been counting votes. And it appears that an upset is in the making, with House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, losing to challenger Mike Kingsley.

“They’re having trouble with their tabulator up there, so they were waiting ‘til they got through,” reported Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst. According to the county’s website, unofficial results from 34 of 34 precincts show Rusche with 43.13 percent of the vote to Kingsley’s 56.87 percent.

Also, in the same district, former Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston, had 55.05 percent to Democratic candidate Bob Blakey’s 44.95 percent, meaning both House seats in that district will shift from Democratic to Republican hands.

Bonner County posted a notice on its elections website saying, “Due to the enormous amount of write-in votes for many different races the resolution board’s job is formidable. We will be here past noon Wednesday before the final numbers are out.” The Secretary of State's site has District 1 numbers that largely reflect only Benewah County results, leaving out nearly all the Bonner County portion of the district.

What’s going on with Latah and Canyon counties? That’s not yet clear, Hurst said, but the Secretary of State’s office was trying to contact them. Numbers showing on the Secretary of State’s site for District 5 races reflect only the Benewah County portion of that legislative district, not the larger Latah County portion.

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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