Amber Larna woke up to good news on Wednesday—bright and early.
Congratulatory texts star-ted buzzing at 5:30 a.m., telling her the opposite of what she’d heard just hours earlier: Despite erroneous early reports—the result of a glitch on the county elections website—she would be the south county’s newest trustee on Blaine County’s school board.
Larna—the Carey resident, former head of The Drug Coalition, and ever-ready nonprofit board member—defeated Bellevue accountant Alexis Lindberg 339 to 272 in Tuesday’s election, rounding out a trio of new trustees who will make up the majority of the board next year.
Lindberg polled well on her home turf, but Carey carried Larna through: She won her hometown 230 to 21—nearly 92 percent of the vote—to put the race out of reach.
“It’s really humbling, to see the community come out like that,” Larna said. “I’m honored to be the one to keep the seat in Carey.”
Lindberg noted the geographic split, too.
“Despite that, I believe an individual, no matter their home address, can have the best interest for all students in our district,” she told the Idaho Mountain Express on Thursday. “Of course, I am disappointed by the results. I worked incredibly hard during this campaign to reach as many Zone 1 voters as possible. I set out to show our residents that I was willing to work hard, not only to be elected but as a trustee as well.”
Lindberg doesn’t have any immediate plans to follow up her run, but said she’s open to opportunities in the future.
“I set out to give back to my community and I am confident I will eventually find the right position for my skill set,” she said.
Meanwhile, Larna is al-ready getting up to speed on the job ahead. She’s been in touch with her future colleagues, including Zone 5 Trustee-elect Lara Stone, who has been preparing a crash course in school governance for Larna to read by her January inauguration.
A spirit of cooperation, and a penchant for straight talk, won Larna the election, she said. Now, she hopes it will define her term on the board.
“Open communication, transparency—maybe a little bit of vulnerability—helped get me here,” she said. “I’ve been involved in this community most of my life. I care so much about our youth—and that’s the key word, ‘our.’ They’re all our kids. They’re our next generation. It’s important to build a village around them.”
On Tuesday, she saw that sentiment spring to life. Her son, a senior at the Carey School, turned 18 Saturday. A few days later, he voted in his first election—for his mom.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to be part of something great,” she said. “I think we’re in a really positive place right now. We all want what’s best for our kids.”