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Crime-and-courts
Harris, Gadd ahead in 5th Judicial District judge race

TWIN FALLS — Roger Harris and David Gadd will likely have a runoff to be the 5th Judicial District’s next judge.

As of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Harris, a magistrate judge in Twin Falls County, was ahead in the four-way race with 8,902 votes — 45.7 percent of the total vote. Civil attorney Gadd, public defense attorney had earned 4,629 votes (23.7 percent).

Samuel Beus, and water adjudication officer Theodore Booth were trailing behind.

Beus earned 2,978 votes (15.3 percent) and Booth earned 2,990 votes (15.3 percent).

Competitive district judge races are relatively rare in the 5th Judicial District, especially to fill a seat left vacant by the sudden retirement or death of a judge. Harris will replace longtime District Judge Randy Stoker, who died in January.

Usually when a judge seat opens up before his or her term expires, the governor appoints a replacement. But the application and selection process takes several months, meaning that the period for candidates to file for election would likely have passed by the time an appointment was made.

Because of the timing of Stoker’s death, the state did not appoint a replacement, leaving the people to decide in the election.

Harris has been a magistrate judge since 2005. Before that, he practiced both civil and criminal law in Twin Falls; during that time, he served as both the deputy prosecuting attorney and conflict public defender for the city of Twin Falls.

He is a graduate of Idaho State University and earned his law degree at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

For final election results, visit magicvalley.com on Wednesday morning.


Gretel Kauffman / COURTESY PHOTO  

Harris