With Election Day quickly approaching, more than half of all registered voters in Blaine County have already cast their ballots, county data on early and mail-in voting shows.
More than 8,000 voters—53 percent of those registered in Blaine County—had voted as of Tuesday, according to an online dashboard keeping an unofficial count of ballots cast. About 4,800 of those ballots were submitted by mail; the rest are from early in-person voters.
Early voting ends at 5 p.m. on Oct. 30.
For those who haven’t yet voted, here’s who—and what—is on the ballot in Blaine County.
Two District 26 seats in the Legislature are contested this year. Incumbent Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, faces Eric Parker, a Republican from Hailey. Incumbent Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, is being challenged by Republican Bill Thorpe of Bliss.
Stennett, who serves as minority leader of the Idaho Senate, is a member of the Senate State Affairs and the Resources & Environment committees. She was first elected to the Senate in 2010, filling the seat previously held by her late husband, Clint Stennett.
Parker, an electrician, made national headlines for his participation in the armed standoff with federal agents near the ranch of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy in 2014; a widely circulated image showed Parker lying on a bridge pointing a long rifle at agents below. He ultimately pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction stemming from the incident. Parker is the founder and president of the Real 3%ers Idaho, a self-described nonpartisan group whose stated mission is to “serve, protect, and defend the Constitution as well as the American people and our way of life.” This is Parker’s first run for public office.
Toone, a rancher and retired math teacher, has served in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2016. She serves on the House Agricultural Affairs Committee, the House Resources and Conservation Committee, and the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
Thorpe is a retired financial executive and currently works as a general contractor.
Rep. Muffy Davis, D-Ketchum, is running for re-election to District 26 Seat A unopposed.
Blaine County Board of County Commissioners
Blaine County Commission Chairman Jacob Greenberg is seeking re-election this year, challenged by independent candidate Kiki Tidwell.
Greenberg, a Democrat, has served as a county commissioner since 2008. He is a financial analyst and was formerly a small business owner. He lives in Hailey.
Tidwell is an investor in clean tech startup companies and various other ventures, including real estate. In 2018, she filed a lawsuit against Blaine County accusing it of unlawfully issuing a building permit to allow ARCH Community Housing Trust to build an affordable housing duplex on Buttercup Road, near property she owns. The lawsuit is ongoing; a bench trial is scheduled for Nov. 12.
Bellevue mayor and City Council
Idaho State Police announced Monday that Bellevue mayoral candidate Jared Murphy was one of two people found dead in a Bellevue coffee shop on Thursday evening. The case is under investigation as a murder-suicide. Murphy, who was challenging Mayor Ned Burns for his office, will still appear on the ballot on Election Day, the Blaine County Elections Office said Tuesday.
Four candidates are on the ballot for three open alderman seats: Robert R. Bradford and incumbents Doug Brown, Gregory Cappel and Tammy E. Davis. Voters can pick three.
Four candidates are on the ballot in the race for U.S. senator: incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Risch, Democrat Paulette Jordan, Constitution Party candidate Ray Writz and independent candidate Natalie Fleming.
Risch, whose home is listed as Boise, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Before he was selected to the Senate, he served as lieutenant governor and governor of Idaho.
Jordan, a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and a resident of Plummer, served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council before running for the Idaho House of Representatives in 2014. She served one term and was elected to another before leaving the Legislature in 2018 to run for governor. She won the Democratic nomination but ultimately lost to Gov. Brad Little in the general election.
Writz is a small-business owner, according to his campaign website. He lives in Coeur d’Alene.
Fleming, who lives in Fruitland, has worked as a computer programmer and app developer, according to her campaign website.
U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District
Four candidates are running this year to represent Idaho’s 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives: Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson, Democrat Aaron Swisher, Libertarian candidate Idaho Sierra Law and Constitution Party candidate Pro-Life.
Simpson, whose home address is in Boise, has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1999. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is the ranking member for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and serves on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. Before his election to Congress, Simpson was speaker of the House in the Idaho Legislature and worked as a dentist in Blackfoot.
Swisher, also of Boise, is an economist and author of the book “Resuscitating America: An Independent Voter’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream.” He previously ran against Simpson in 2018.
Law lives in Pocatello, according to the Idaho secretary of state’s website. A campaign website could not be located.
Pro-Life, a person formerly known as Marvin Richardson, lives in Emmett. He has previously run for governor of Idaho. A campaign website with up-to-date biographical information could not be located.
Seven presidential tickets are on the ballot in Idaho this year: incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence; Democratic nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris; Libertarian Jo Jorgensen and running mate Spike Cohen; and Constitution Party candidate Don Blankenship and running mate William Mohr. There are also three independent tickets: Rocky De La Fuente and Darcy Richardson; Brock Pierce and Karla Ballard; and Kanye West and Michelle Tidball.