Municipal elections. Low turnout, sleepy affairs, right?
Not in SW Idaho this year. With growth on everyone’s mind, voters hit the polls to have their say. Here’s the story of the night, and a look ahead.
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Boise City Council President Lauren McLean and incumbent mayor Dave Bieter are headed for a runoff in early December.
But in a surprise, McLean handily beat Bieter Tuesday.
She earned 23,669 votes, netting 45.7% of ballots cast. Bieter pulled down 15,711 votes, or 30.3%.
Conservative candidates Rebecca Arnold and Brent Coles had 13.2% and 7.3% of the vote, respectively.
Turnout in the race was very strong – with 40% of registered voters casting a ballot – more than 52,303 votes cast. Turnout jumped by 10% from the last mayoral election four years ago.
The Boise City Clerk tells BoiseDev the runoff will be held on Tuesday, December 3rd at the same polling sites.
Vote-for-a-vote petitions pass handily
Voters said they want to vote in the future if the city decides to spend public funds on a library or stadium project.
For the library initiative, 69.1% said the city should involve voters on any project to build a new library. Every precinct in the city, except one, said they wanted a say on the potential project.
On the stadium, an even stronger result – with 75.2% saying they want to vote in the future.
“Tonight’s passage of Propositions 1 and 2 should be credited to the people of the city of Boise,” Boise Working Together wrote in a statement sent to the media early Wednesday morning. “It is the people of this community who have reasserted their right of oversight on major civic projects that will remake their city.”
Boise city council seats
We knew heading into the night that some new faces would show up on Boise City with Scot Ludwig not running again and McLean’s seat open with her run for mayor.
The one incumbent running again, longtime council member Elaine Clegg, handily won reelection with 49.5% of the vote. City council races are not subject to a runoff.
In a crowded field for seat 1, Patrick Bageant beat five other candidates to replace McLean.
For seat 3, in a race that stayed neck and neck all night, Jimmy Hallyburton pulled out the win over Meredith Stead. He won by 51.7% to 48.3%.
Meridian will have a new mayor in the new year, taking over for 16-year incumbent Tammy de Weerd. Robert Simison will take the office of de Weerd, his boss. Simison has served as chief of staff for the city, and had de Weerd’s endorsement. With 45.3% of the vote, he beat Rep. Joe Palmer, who hoped to move from the Statehouse to city hall and three other candidates.
Meridian City Council
The Meridian City Council will also have three new faces, with Genesis Milam and Ty Palmer not seeking reelection. Anne Little-Roberts ran for mayor, leaving her seat open as well.
In seat 5, Jessica Perrault handily topped the three other candidates, with 46.8% of votes in her favor.
For seat 1, Elizabeth “Liz” Strader also topped her three competitors with 53.3% of all ballots cast.
Brad Hoaglun, a former city councilor will return to the council in seat 3. He ran unopposed.
You can check results in other counties around the area below: