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Tuesday, February 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Idaho Democrat accused of stealing GOP campaign material

A GOP candidate for the Idaho Senate has filed a police report accusing Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, of stealing GOP campaign literature when the two were campaigning at the same time in a Garden City neighborhood, the AP reports. Here’s the full report from AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi:

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Republican Idaho Senate candidate said Friday that he has filed a police report accusing Democratic Rep. John McCrostie of stealing campaign literature left off at homes in Garden City and lying about doing so while being recorded.

First-time GOP challenger Ryan McDonald told The Associated Press in an interview that he was campaigning last week when he saw McCrostie also going door-to-door and decided to approach McCrostie after seeing that he was carrying the same kind of campaign material plastic bags McDonald had just dropped off at homes.

The Garden City police department said it has received a police report but could not make it public on Friday because it was still being finalized.

McCrostie, who is running for a second term against GOP candidate Joel Robinson, issued an apology late Friday, the Idaho Statesman reported, without directly admitting to taking the materials. “I made a mistake and I apologize to my family, my supporters and the people of District 16,” McCrostie wrote. “I have worked diligently for my community for decades, and I pledge to hold myself to a higher standard.”

The Statesman reported that McDonald said McCrostie returned the materials to him, but they were damaged; you can read reporter John Sowell's full report here.

McDonald used his phone to record a conversation with McCrostie during their encounter in the neighborhood, and said McCrostie denied on the audio that he stole campaign material but then offered to give back the campaign bags.

The bags had U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador's campaign logo on the front and contained literature on Republican candidates vying for a seat in Democratic-dominant District 16, McDonald said.

McDonald said he received a call from Republican Secretary of State Lawerence Denney suggesting he contact House Speaker Scott Bedke to share concerns of a possible ethics violation.

"Even on the state local level, we're seeing people who think they're above the law," McDonald, 26, said. "It's disgusting. I run my campaign so that everything I do is legal."

McDonald faces Sen. Grant Burgoyne in the November election. The last time a Republican held a seat in District 16 was in 2009.

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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