Treasure Valley voters came out en masse to cast their ballots and made big changes at the local level.
The Ada County Commission flipped back to Republican control after two years of Democrat leadership. Republican challenger Ryan Davidson surpassed incumbent Commissioner Diana Lachiondo Tuesday night. Davidson bested Lachiondo with 51.2% of the vote votes, over her 48.8% total with all precincts reporting.
Former Idaho State Senator Rod Beck also bested Democratic challenger Bill Rutherford for a seat on the Ada County Commission with 53.9% of the vote. Rutherford, a political newcomer, took in 46.1% of the total.
This hard-fought race will put Republicans back in control of Idaho’s largest county and will remove Lachiondo from her role on the board of Central District Health. During her tenure, Lachiondo voted alongside fellow Democrat Kendra Kenyon to begin the process of building a new coroner’s office and expand the Ada County jail, as well as take some foregone taxes. The commission also voted with the lone Republican on the commission to allow the collection of impact fees from developers in the county for the first time.
ACHD race down to 2 votes
There was also a big shakeup at the Ada County Highway District on Tuesday night. Newcomer Alexis Pickering ousted sixteen-year incumbent Rebecca Arnold with a difference of just two votes. Under Idaho State Code, any losing candidate can request a recount if the difference between the totals is less than or equal to .1% or five votes, whichever is greater. The cost of a recount will be covered by Ada County.
Incumbent Jim Hansen beat challenger Kara Veit, earning 54.3% of the vote with 21,437 ballots cast, over Veit’s 18,104. In the race for the open seat, former Meridian City Council candidate Dave McKinney handily beat opponent Emilie Jackson-Edney with 60.5% of the vote and 26,924 ballots cast, over her 17,606.
Hansen keeping his seat and the addition of Pickering sways the ACHD commission toward more aggressive support of public transportation infrastructure. But, McKinney’s election and desired focus on road over public transportation shows the western edge of the county still prefers a focus on infrastructure for cars.