The numbers are still preliminary, but Robyn Brody is holding the edge against Curt McKenzie in the nonpartisan race for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court. With 489 of 962 precincts reporting, Brody had 56.4 percent of the vote to McKenzie's 43.6 percent.
Brody said, “You know, I am cautiously optimistic. I sure like those numbers.” She added, “I cannot thank the people of the state of Idaho enough for all of their support during this race. I have thoroughly enjoyed traveling this state and getting to know people, and I cannot wait to have the opportunity to serve them.”
UPDATE: As 3 a.m. MT approached, Brody's lead still held. With 840 of 962 precincts reporting, Brody had 54.5 percent to McKenzie's 45.4 percent.
Brody, an attorney in private practice from Rupert, was backed by attorneys all over the state; in a new Idaho State Bar survey released in October, she was rated nearly twice as high in her qualifications for the high court as McKenzie.
McKenzie, a seven-term GOP state senator, touted his legislative experience and endorsement by fellow Republican legislative leaders and interest groups including the National Rifle Association and Idaho Farm Bureau.
McKenzie, who has never argued a case before either the Idaho Supreme Court or the Idaho Court of Appeals, said his legislative background gave him unique qualifications to serve on the court. Brody, who’s appeared before the high court nine times and has never before run for office, said the high court needs a lawyer who’s been “in the trenches.”
If Brody is elected, she’d be the court’s only female justice; Idaho’s highest court has been all-male since Justice Linda Copple Trout retired in 2007.
Brody and McKenzie were the survivors of a four-way primary for the seat in May; Brody was the top finisher of the four, with McKenzie close behind. The vacancy comes with the retirement of Chief Justice Jim Jones.