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Searle ousts Darrington in Cassia County Commission election

BURLEY — Cassia County voters chose two Republican candidates for commissioner seats May 15 and a Republican candidate for the treasurer’s office.

Minidoka County voters also selected a Republican candidate for an open commissioner’s seat.

In Cassia County District 1, Leonard Beck won the party bid for the Cassia County commissioner seat in District 1 with 2,246 votes, Randy Harris garnered 939 votes and Jeff Jarolimek trailed with 346 votes.

Cassia County District 3 challenger Kent Searle won with 2,084 votes against Incumbent Tim Darrington, who received 1,452 votes.

Laura Greener won the Republican nod for Cassia County treasurer with 2,326 votes over Cynthia Moyle who received 1,128 votes.

Minidoka County voters chose Wayne Schenk to represent the party in the November election.


Leonard Beck

Schenk received 1,447 votes and challenger Carl Hanson got 688 votes.

Searle, 65, is a farmer, dairyman and business owner who has been instrumental in the development of the county 911 system. He has served on various boards and has been an EMT and reserve sheriff’s deputy. He has served as a volunteer 911 coordinator in the county.

“I feel this is a great honor,” Searle said. “I have spent a lot of years working in Cassia County and have given it my all. It’s a wonderful place, and I’m kind of touched.”

One of the biggest challenges in the county is funding the services that are needed and wanted by county residents to ensure a progressive community along with planning for orderly growth and development and providing safety and security for residents, he said.

He plans to research and learn how other counties have addressed similar challenges and pledges to listen to the concerns of citizens.

Beck, 66, is a farmer who has held leadership positions in the community and promises to work with others to arrive at sound decisions to benefit all of Cassia County.

“I am truly overwhelmed at the support I received before the election and during the election,” Beck said. “Now it’s time to go to work with a united front. The focus of my race was seeing the county as progressive and I want to continue that.”

He said planning for industry and population growth is one of the biggest challenges facing the county along with continuing the joint law enforcement agreement and supporting youth education.

He said the key to future county success will be planning.


Wayne Schenk

Schenk, 62, is a lifelong businessman and farmer in the county and has served on several boards and committees.

“I so much appreciate the support I received throughout Minidoka County,” Schenk said. “It’s humbling to think about it.”

Schenk has attended commissioner meetings for the last year to ensure he was informed on county issues.

“I wanted to fully understand the commitment and be fully informed so there wasn’t a lot of lag time catching up,” Schenk said. “I’m sure there is more to learn but I’m ready to work to make Minidoka County better for all of us.”

The challenges that he sees in the community are recognizing and planning for growth, which requires vision and a willingness to be proactive and take advantage of coming changes.


Laura Greener

Greener, 46, was raised in Cassia County and said she knows the strength of the people in the community. She works in the treasury department as chief deputy treasurer and has been mentored by the current treasurer.

Fulcher leads in GOP race to replace Labrador in U.S. House

Meridian real estate broker Russ Fulcher took an early 44 percent lead in the seven-way Republican race for the 1st Congressional District seat given up by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador.

David Leroy, the former attorney general and lieutenant governor was in second with 23 percent in early results. They led former prosecutor and state Rep. Luke Malek of Coeur d’Alene; gun shop owner and state Rep. Christy Perry of Nampa; conservative author and blogger Michael Snyder of Bonners Ferry; Nick Henderson, an Army combat veteran and businessman from Post Falls; and Alex Gallegos, a retired Army lieutenant colonel from Nampa.

Fulcher started out running for governor, following on his strong showing in the 2014 GOP primary against Gov. Butch Otter. In June, he pulled out after Labrador announced a bid for the governor’s post. Fulcher then said he would run for Labrador’s seat instead.

Fulcher said Tuesday night that his earlier run for governor put him in a strong position from the beginning.

“The friendships and the relationships were in place,” Fulcher said. “I’m deeply honored people remembered me. I’m not going to let them down.”

“We feel like things are going to go our way,” he said at 10:15 p.m.

Leroy counted on most of the electorate in the GOP primary to be old enough to remember when he was attorney general, lieutenant governor and even acting governor (the latter for 254 days) back in the early 1980s.

History suggests anywhere from 63,000 to 72,000 voters will have participated in the closed Republican primary.

If so, one of the candidates will need 15,000 to 20,000 votes to win.

Republican Bill Sali garnered 18,985 votes, or 25.8 percent, in 2006, the last time there was an open field this crowded.

Malek campaigned as a problem-solver who took tough stands on health care and other issues. He was the only one of the seven to support Congress’ recent omnibus budget bill with huge increases for the military and domestic programs.

Perry sought to appeal to women because of her record on family issues and health. But she also used her gun shop experience to push herself as the toughest candidate on the Second Amendment and on sportsman issues like protecting public land.

Snyder said he would get rid of the Internal Revenue Service, the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve, and would close the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management.


Ybarra, Wilson win in Idaho primary for schools chief seat

BOISE — Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will battle Democrat Cindy Wilson in the upcoming November general election.

Ybarra and Wilson became the top political nominees for the schools chief position after winning Tuesday’s primary against their respective challengers.

Ybarra is seeking to secure a second term in the four-year spot.

Ybarra spent 17 years as a teacher, district administrator and curriculum director for the Mountain Home School District before seeking higher political office.

Wilson, a Boise school teacher, was appointed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to the Idaho Board of Correction in 2015. She was also part of Otter’s education task force that sought improve the state’s public school system — which resulted in a five-year plan to boost teacher pay.

The position requires overseeing the state’s public school system. The superintendent of public instruction also serves on the five-member Idaho Land Board, which oversees 2.5 million acres of land to benefit state public schools.

Burley voters pass $165,000 streets override levy

BURLEY — Burley voters passed a $165,000 two-year override levy for street repairs on Tuesday.

The levy was $25,000 more than the override levy that passed in 2016. It required a simple majority to pass.

Voters cast 605 ballots in favor of the override levy and 455 against it.

The additional money will supplement the streets department budget.

The $165,000 will be assessed on taxable property within the city for the years 2018 and 2019. It will be used for the continued construction, repair and maintenance of city streets and the costs of materials, equipment and personnel in the department.