TWIN FALLS — The 2020 General Election officially takes place Nov. 3, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Idahoans already received their ballots in the mail. If you don’t have yours yet, there’s no need to panic. Some counties are still mailing them out.
Here is a guide to the competitive races in the Magic Valley.
The Legislature this year approved a constitutional amendment to freeze the number of legislative districts at 35. The state constitution currently allows between 30 and 35, though there have been 35 since 1992.
Heyburn mayor recall
A citizens group in Heyburn alleges Mayor Mark Rosa has created a hostile work environment. Rosa denies the allegations.
Rock Creek Rural Fire Protection District levy
The district is asking for an additional $605,837 a year for two years. This amounts to a tax increase of $69.66 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
Camas County Cemetery District levy
The district is asking to increase its property tax collection to $33,331 a year from $4,520. Residents would pay $20 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
District 23, Senate: Laura Bellegante vs. Christy Zito
Rep. Christy Zito, R-Hammett, is attempting to move from the House from the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Bert Brackett, who is retiring. Zito has been one of the most conservative members of the Legislature since being elected to the House four years ago. Zito’s website describes her as “an outspoken voice for gun rights, health freedom, and other conservative causes.”
Laura Bellegante is challenging Zito for the seat. Bellegante’s main policy positions are more funding for education, offering a livable wage, and addressing Idaho’s property tax issues. Her Facebook page describes her as the candidate “for common sense solutions for the under-served, the uninsured, and the under-represented.”
District 23, House Seat A: Matthew Bundy vs. Benjamin Lee
Matthew Bundy is running as the Republican candidate to fill the opening left by Rep. Christy Zito, who is running for Senate. Bundy is a Air Force veteran and spent 16 years as a teacher. He also has experience in local government.
Benjamin Lee is running as the Democratic candidate. He is a disabled Air Force veteran, according to his website.
District 23, House Seat B: Megan Blanksma vs. Michael Oliver vs. Tony Ulrich
Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, was first elected in 2016 and serves as the majority caucus chair. Blanksma has also worked for the party as precinct committee person, state committee member, and chair of the Elmore County Central Committee.
Michael Oliver is running as a Democrat in the election. Oliver is a disabled veteran who was injured in the line of duty. He is running to “to continue serving my country and the people of Idaho.”
Tony Ulrich is running as a Constitution Party candidate. Ulrich’s website says is pro-education and anti-government spending. “I will stand and fight for the people, for what is true and just,” his website says.
District 24, Senate: Lee Heider vs. Rocky Ferrenburg
Republican Sen. Lee Heider was first elected in 2010 and is chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Heider previously served on Twin Falls City Council and as vice mayor.
Rocky Ferrenburg is a commercial truck driver and a student at Washington State University’s Global Campus. He’s a recovering addict who has been clean for six years and says it gives him knowledge of the criminal justice system. He’s running as an independent candidate. “I support free markets, limited governments, peace, tolerance and individualism,” his website says.
District 24, House Seat A: Lance Clow vs. Paul Thompson
Republican Rep. Lance Clow was first elected in 2012 and has been the House Education Committee chair since 2018. Before the Legislature, he served nearly two decades on Twin Falls City Council, including six years as mayor. “I consider myself open to public input and studious in my deliberations on legislation that flows through each session,” his website says.
Paul Thompson is challenging Clow as a Constitution Party candidate. Thompson is pastor at Eastside Baptist Church. “I will strive to be principled in my representation and act with integrity to the people, while not usurping the constitution,” his website says.
District 26, Senate: Eric Parker vs. Michelle Stennett
Democrat Sen. Michelle Stennett was first elected in 2010 and serves as the Senate minority leader. Stennett worked in advertising and sales for a television company, and in flight operations for Horizon Air and Sun Valley Aviation. “My pledge to my constituents is simple: work hard on their behalf, be knowledgeable about their issues, and maintain the strength and integrity I have upheld representing this district at the legislature,” her website says.
Eric Parker is running as a Republican. Parker is a leader of Real 3%ers Idaho — a far right militia organization. Parker also participated in an armed standoff with federal agents near the ranch of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy in 2014. A widely circulated picture showed Parker lying prone and aiming a rifle at federal agents. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction stemming from the incident.
District 26, House Seat B: William Thorpe vs. Sally Toone
Democrat Rep. Sally Toone was first elected in 2016. Toone taught for 37 years as a math teacher in Gooding and Wendell school districts. She’s also taught adult education at College of Southern Idaho the last six. She and her husband own and operate cattle ranches in Gooding and Camas counties. “I value an honest, forthright government that works for the people,” her website says.
William Thorpe is running as the Republican candidate. Thorpe has worked in finance, as a vice president of finance, controller, and chief financial officer for a variety of public and family owned companies. His website say it’s time to have a Republican represent the district. “I realized we have no voice in the legislature since we are now dominated by Blaine county.”
Twin Falls County Commission, District 1
Blaine County Commission, District 2
Bellevue Alderman (vote for 3)
Robert R. Bradford
Tammy E. Davis
Northside Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor
B. Roy Prescott
Wood River Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor
College of Southern Idaho Board of Trustees, Zone 4
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