Northern Idaho stays Red: Republicans sweep through local elections
November 10, 2006 at 6:00 am |
—Photo by ROBERT JAMES Election official Pam Brink puts a completed ballot into the ballot box at the Exhibit Hall at the Boundary County Fairgrounds Tuesday. Nearly 3,300 Boundary County voters took part in this year's election.
By ROBERT JAMES
North Idaho voters bucked the national trend that saw democrats grab control of the House of Representatives, left the fate of the Senate up in the air and had several states switch from republican to democrat governors.
Boundary County and District 1 elected republicans across the board, sending Bill Sali to the U.S. House, re-electing Shawn Keough to the state senate and Eric Anderson and George Eskridge to the state house.
In the only contested county race, republican Jenny Fessler won the county treasurer race in a landslide, defeating democratic challenger John R. Sanders 2,357 votes to 747. Fessler collected 76 percent of the vote.
Voter turnout was heavy, County Clerk Glenda Poston said. An unofficial count put the turnout at about 58 percent. Less than half that number voted in the primary election in May, Poston said.
Boundary County mirrored the state in every major race but one. Local voters would have approved Proposition 1, but statewide the 1-percent sales tax measure failed.
Otherwise, local voters favored the same candidates and issues as the rest of Idaho.
Boundary County voted for Butch Otter over Jerry Brady for governor. Otter took 1,781 votes to Brady's 1,279. Otter won the election in the state.
Proposition 2, the controversial private property-takings measure, was soundly defeated both in Boundary County and throughout the state. Locally, voters voted nearly three-to-one to defeat the proposition with 2,285 voting "No" and just 877 voting "Yes."
The measure favoring a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman passed, with 2,204 local voters favoring it and just 957 opposed. Statewide, the measure passed with 63 percent in favor.
Another constitutional amendment regarding redistribution of tobacco funds passed with 58 percent of the vote state-wide.
A torrential rain storm swept through Boundary County Tuesday, but the nasty weather did not deter voters, Poston said.
There were no problems at polling stations despite the heavy turnout and the wet weather, she said.
A road near the Bonner County-Boundary County border was closed which did prevent a few voters from reaching the polls, but that was the biggest problem anyone saw, she said.
"I compliment and commend all our workers," Poston said. Polls throughout the county were busy all day as many people got out to vote.