Idaho’s 2018 election season got a whole lot more interesting Tuesday night as voters set the table for what should be a high-profile gubernatorial contest in November—pitting a young former representative against a veteran of Gem State politics.
- Paulette Jordan secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for Idaho governor.
Former Idaho House Rep. Paulette Jordan, 38, pulled a major upset in the Democratic Primary for Governor, handily defeating Boise millionaire A.J. Balukoff, 58 to 40 percent. Jordan took Balukoff’s home county of Ada by more than 8,000 votes. Ada County election officials reported a 34 percent overall voter turnout (including all parties) Tuesday, much higher than the 25 percent that had been projected. Jordan also defeated Balukoff in Canyon and Latah counties. It has not gone unnoticed in the national media that if Jordan is victorious in November, she will be the first Native American governor in the U.S. history.
In the hotly-contested Republican Primary for Governor, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, 64, emerged as the victor over Congressman Raul Labrador and millionaire Tommy Ahlquist in what had spiraled into a particularly nasty and expensive primary contest. When the dust settled, Little won just over 37 percent of the vote, compared to Labrador’s 33 percent and Ahlquist’s 26 percent. Little beat the field in Ada And Twin Falls counties, while Labrador grabbed the most votes in Canyon and Kootenai counties. Ahlquist’s only success was in eastern Idaho, where he won the majority of the votes in Bonneville County.
— Idaho GOP (@IdahoGOP) May 16, 2018
In the race to see who will take Labrador’s open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Russ Fulcher easily won over the Republican field with just over 43 percent of the vote. He’ll face off in November with Cristina McNeil, who won the Democratic primary with just over 69 percent of the vote.
A number of high-profile Republican members of the Idaho Legislature were ousted by their own party in Tuesday’s primary. In eastern Idaho, Rep. Ronald Nate (R-Rexburg) lost to GOP challenger Doug Ricks by just 159 votes. Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Idaho Falls) lost to GOP challenger Gary Marshall by a 19 percent margin. Rep. Thomas Loertscher (R-Iona), the long-time chairman of the House State Affairs Committee lost in Tuesday’s GOP primary to challenger Chad Christensen. And Rep. Julie VanOrden (R-Pingree), chair of the House Education Committee, lost to GOP challenger Julianne Young by a 9 percent margin.
In Ada County, Sharon Ullman upset incumbent Ada County Commissioner David Case in the GOP primary. Ullman initially lost that same seat to Case back in 2012, but returned to victory on Tuesday night. Ullman will face Democrat Kendra Kenyon, who was unopposed Tuesday, in November’s general election. Plus, Diana Lachiondo won the Democratic Primary in the race to see who will face incumbent Ada County Commissioner Jim Tibbs in November.
Phvntom, Inc. is a digital marketing company located in Boise, Idaho that creates websites, apps, and full-scale promotions/campaigns for other businesses. The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of its authors and were not written by Phvntom. This article was originally published by Boise Weekly.