TWIN FALLS — A competitive governor’s race, an open district judge seat, and an unusually high number of challengers to Magic Valley legislators have the potential to bring out more primary voters than usual in south-central Idaho this year.
Polling places are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. across the Magic Valley Tuesday. Voters must bring photo ID — such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport, student ID, or concealed carry license — or sign a personal identification affidavit.
Here are the races to watch (and vote in) today.
Twin Falls County
Incumbent Terry Kramer, a farmer from Castleford who was first elected to the Twin Falls County Commission in 2006, has a challenger for the District 1 seat: Brent Reinke, former director of the Idaho Department of Corrections. Reinke previously served on the county commission from 1994 to 1997.
Both Kramer and Reinke are Republicans.
One Blaine County commissioner has a primary challenger this year: incumbent Larry Schoen, who faces retired Olympic high jumper Dick Fosbury in the Democratic primary for District 1. The winner will face Republican Mick Halverson and independent candidate Debra Hall.
Two Democrats are also competing for the assessor’s seat: Jim Williams and Kyle Kunz.
There are no contested races this year in Camas County, as all incumbents are seeking re-election unopposed.
Five candidates will compete for two seats on the Cassia County Commission in this year’s Republican primary.
Randall S. Harris, Leonard M. Beck, and Jeff Jarolimek, all of Burley, are vying for the District 1 seat currently held by retiring commissioner Paul Christensen. Harris and Jarolimeck are business owners and Beck is a farmer.
Meanwhile, incumbent Tim Darrington faces farmer and business owner Kent Searle in the race for the District 3 seat.
Two Republicans are seeking the treasurer’s office: Cynthia Moyle and Laura Greener.
Gooding County Republicans have plenty of choices on the ballot Tuesday.
Susan Bolton and Dennis Rogers are facing off for the District 1 commissioner’s seat, while Ron Buhler and John Elliott compete for the District 3 seat.
Three people are running for county clerk: incumbent Denise Gill, a Republican; Crystal Spackman, a Republican; and Gillian J. Minter, a Democrat.
The coroner’s race is also a competitive one this year, with Republicans Jase Stockham and Ronnie Geer seeking the office.
Two incumbent Republican commissioners face challengers on Tuesday.
District 1 commissioner Cathy Roemer has an opponent in Ben Crouch, editor of the North Side Journal. Roemer has been on the commission for nearly a decade.
District 3 incumbent Roger Morley, who has been on the commission for eight years, has two challengers: businessmen George Panagiotou and John Crozier.
Lincoln County voters have no shortage of options in the two primary races for the county commission.
Two candidates are competing for the District 1 seat: Rick Ellis, a partially retired construction manager, and Don Hudson, chairman of the county’s Republican Party Central Committee.
Hudson filed a lawsuit against Lincoln County in December, alleging that the commission refused “to enforce the law concerning the illegal residency of Commissioner Cresley McConnell.” In the lawsuit, Hudson claims that the county gerrymandered the zone boundaries when it redistricted commission zones in January.
McConnell, who resigned from the District 1 seat on May 5, was originally planning to run for re-election.
Another candidate whose name won’t appear on the ballot is throwing her hat in the ring for the District 1 seat as well: Democrat Julia Oxarango-Ingram, director of Southern Idaho Rural Development, who’s running as a write-in candidate.
Incumbent Roy Hubert, who has held the District 3 seat on the commission for seven years, has two challengers in the Republican primary: Larry Kerner and Roger Fields.
There’s one contested primary race in Minidoka County: the race for the District 1 county commissioner’s seat, currently occupied by retiring commissioner Bob Moore.
Republicans Wayne Schenk and Carl Hanson are competing for Moore’s spot on the commission. Schenk is a businessman and farmer, and Hanson is a retired hospital administrator and the former owner of a small business.
Two seats in the Idaho House of Representatives have opened up this year with the retirement of longtime legislators Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, and Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls.
Three Republican candidates are competing for Bell’s seat in District 25: ranchers Laurie Lickley and B. Roy Prescott, and Glenneda Zuiderveld, a small business owner.
Two Republicans will face off for Hartgen’s seat in District 24: his wife, Linda Wright Hartgen, who previously served as the Twin Falls county clerk and trial court administrator for the 5th Judicial District, and Rocky Ferrenburg, a truck driver from Twin Falls. The winner will face Democrat Deborah Silver in the general election.
Meanwhile, six incumbent candidates have challengers in the Republican primary, some for the first time in years.
In District 23, Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, is facing Mark Rhatigan of Mountain Home, while Rep. Christy Zito, R-Hammett, goes up against Oscar Evans of Homedale.
In District 24, Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, has a challenger in Jay S. Waters III, also of Twin Falls.
Two incumbents have opponents in District 25: Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer, is up against Lyle Johnstone of Twin Falls, while Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, faces Terry Edwards of Jerome.
One sitting legislator in District 27 has a primary challenger: Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley. He’s running against Kevin Williams of Elba.
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
The crowded race for governor includes a competitive pool of candidates for both the Republican and Democratic nominations.
The seven candidates on the Republican side include frontrunners Lt. Gov. Brad Little, businessman and former E.R. doctor Tommy Ahlquist, and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. Harley Delano Brown, Dalton Ben Cannady, Lisa Marie, and Twin Falls resident Steve Pankey are also seeking the Republican nomination.
There are three names on the Democrat ballot: businessman A.J. Balukoff, former Idaho state Rep. Paulette Jordan, and organic farmer Peter Dill.
In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Democrats have two candidates to choose from: software engineer Kristin Collum and Jim Fabe, a retired dentist who lives in Sun Valley.
Republicans have more choices, with five candidates throwing their hat in the ring: Marv Hagedorn, Janice McGeachin, Bob Nonini, Kelley Packer, and Steve Yates.
Labrador’s seat in Congressional District 1 has attracted a number of candidates.
Seven Republican names are on the ballot: Russ Fulcher, Alex Gallegos, Nick Henderson, David Leroy, Luke Malek, Christy Perry and Michael Snyder.
Three Democrats are running for the seat as well: Cristina McNeil, Michael W. Smith, and James Vandermaas.
While U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who holds the District 2 congressional seat, is running unopposed in the Republican primary, two Democrats are facing off for the Democratic nomination: Aaron Swisher, an economist from Boise, and Peter Rickards, a retired podiatrist from Twin Falls.
Other statewide offices
Secretary of State Lawrence Denney is seeking the Republican nomination unopposed, but two candidates are competing for the Democratic nomination: Joseph J.P. Chastain and Jill Humble.
Three Republicans are running for the office of State Treasurer: Julie Ellsworth, Tom Kealey, and Vicky McIntyre.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra, a Republican, has a primary challenger in Jeff Dillon. Two Democrats are also running for the office: Allen Humble and Cindy Wilson.
Four candidates are competing for the 5th Judicial District judge seat left open by the death of Judge Randy Stoker: public defense attorney Samuel Beus, Twin Falls Magistrate Judge Roger Harris, civil attorney David Gadd, and water adjudicator Theodore Booth.
All 5th Judicial District residents can vote in the race, which is non-partisan.