Idaho Dispatch

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Idaho Election Results: Republicans Take Ada County; More Analysis

By • November 8, 2020

While the mainstream media is projecting Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, the Electoral College vote won’t be held until next month.

In the meantime, Idaho Dispatch wanted to give you some analysis of the results of some of the races here in Idaho. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Idaho had a record turnout with voting.

Idaho Dispatch will break down the overall results of some statewide races, legislative races, and a few of the county races.

First, President Trump won Idaho.

Many pundits had predicted Trump would win Idaho. Idaho has not chosen a Democrat for president since 1964.

Trump won Idaho with approximately 64% of the vote. Joe Biden received approximately 33% of the vote.

Trump increased his victory in Idaho compared to his 2016 result when he received 59% of the vote.

Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen got approximately 2% of the vote and all other third party or independent candidates received less than 1% each.

Second, nothing changed in the statewide setting for Idaho.

Republican Congressman Russ Fulcher has retained his seat after defeating Democrat candidate Rudy Soto, and Libertarian candidate Joe Evans. Fulcher received approximately 68% of the vote. Soto garnered approximately 28% of the vote and Evans received approximately 3.5%.

Republican Senator Jim Risch was also re-elected and defeated Democrat opponents Paulette Jordan, Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz, and independent candidate Natalie Fleming. The totals in that race were approximately 62%, 33%, 1%, and 3% respectively.

Republican Congressman Mike Simpson was re-elected (64%) and defeated Democrat Aaron Swisher (32%), Constitution Party candidate “Pro-Life” (2%), and Libertarian Party candidate “Sierra Law” (2%).

In the Idaho House, Republicans picked up two seats to add to their supermajority.

The makeup of the Idaho House going into the 2021 Idaho legislative session will be 58 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

Republicans were able to flip one seat in the Boise area (District 15). Many individuals Idaho Dispatch talked to felt the Democrats would take the Senate seat as well after already taking both House seats.

However, Republicans not only flipped one of the House seats in District 15, but they also increased their Senate victory margin over what they did in 2018 when Senator Fred Martin only retained his seat by six votes. In 2020, Martin won with over 1,400 votes.

In District 29 (Seat A), Dustin Manwaring has re-taken his House seat that was lost in 2018 to Democrat Rep. Chris Abernathy. Pocatello is considered one of the few “swing” districts in Idaho.

There were no Idaho State Senate seats that were flipped.

However, three Idaho House members did run for open Senate seats: Christy Zito (R), Doug Ricks (R), and Melissa Wintrow (D). All three candidates won their general election bids.

In December, both parties will select leaders for the next two legislative sessions. Now that Senator Brent Hill (Senate Pro-Tem) is retired, a major shakeup in the Senate Majority leadership is expected.

It is unclear at this time who is running for leadership in the House but many anticipate Speaker Scott Bedke will seek his third term as Speaker.

With the more conservative wing of the Republican Party gaining additional seats in the primary, will they try to mount a challenge to Bedke? We’ll know for sure in December.

One of the most-watched races in the state was the Ada County Commissioner’s races where Republicans won both seats.

While county commissioner’s races can be a little expensive, one of the most expensive commissioner’s races in Idaho was between incumbent Democrat Diana Lachiondo and Republican challenger Ryan Davidson.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent in this race and many had expected Democrats to sweep both seats and have full control going into 2021 because of Idaho’s population boom in the Treasure Valley. Democrats had been gaining power in the county and their losses in Ada County took many by surprise.

The other commissioners’ race featured an open seat race between Republican Rod Beck and Democrat Bill Rutherford. This seat was already controlled by the Republican Party.

Both Davidson and Beck won their races 51% to 48% and 54% to 46% respectively.

A number of high-profile Republicans had endorsed Lachiondo in the race such as Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist, Meridian Mayor Tammy De Weerd, and former Republican Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney.

There was even a flyer sent to voters in Ada County with these individuals giving their endorsements to Lachiondo. Ahlquist also maxed out his campaign contribution limit to Lachiondo.

Despite their efforts, Davidson won the race.

Republicans will now control two of the three commissioner’s seats and the direction of Ada County.

In other results, House Joint Resolution 4 passed which will require that Idaho have 35 legislative districts.

With redistricting right around the corner, Republican legislators wanted to prevent the redistricting commission from possibly lower the number of legislative districts. The commission would have had the ability to lower the number of districts down to 30 had they chosen to do so.

Lastly, Republican Sheriff Joe Rodriguez (Nez Perce County) was going for his third term but lost to independent candidate Bryce Scrimsher, 64% to 36%.

What were the biggest surprises from Idaho’s election results to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tags: Aaron Swisher, Bryce Scrimsher, Christy Zito, Diana Lachiondo, Donald Trump, Doug Ricks, Jim Risch, Jo Jorgensen, Joe Biden, Joe Evans, Joe Rodriguez, Melissa Wintrow, Mike Simpson, Natalie Fleming, Paulette Jordan, Pro-Life, Ray Writz, Rod Beck, Rudy Soto, Russ Fulcher, Ryan Davidson, Sierra Law, Tammy De Weerd, Tommy Ahlquist

5 thoughts on “Idaho Election Results: Republicans Take Ada County; More Analysis

  1. Lachiondo sealed her fate with 1) Covid tyranny at the CDH and 2) obliterating education for thousands of students in West Ada.

  2. I would never, ever listen to an endorsement by Tommy Alquist. Thanks to his vanity bid for Governor, we are stuck with Little Brad.

  3. Congrats to Ryan on his Commission seat win! I’ve known of Ryan since the days when we used to attend Tony Snesko’s Idaho Carry Open and Concealed meetings in various restaurants around town. I’m delighted to have a Republican majority on the Ada County Commission; I just hope they can put some brakes on the reckless development of the county–not saying to stop it, but do it more carefully and with longer-term vision than is being done now. Stop taking money from the big developers, and listen to the people who actually live here (and voted for you)! I know Ryan’s a good man and will give us good representation.

    1. Totally agree with your summary. Time for al to pay attention to local politics. As goes ADA County and Boise, so goes the state


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