© 2023 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
00000176-d8fc-dce8-adff-faff72a50000The 2014 midterm election is a big year in Idaho.Each of the state's top offices are on the ballot; governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, and treasurer. Plus, all 105 legislative seats are up for grabs (although, not all of those seats are contested).One of Idaho's U.S. Senate seats is on the ballot, plus both House of Representatives seats.Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, a Republican, is running for a rare third term. The last Idaho governor to get a third term was Democrat Cecil Andrus, who held the office for 14 years.Polls are open Nov. 4, 2014 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place, and learn more about what you need to bring to the polls.Plus, find NPR's election-night live-blog, here.

Republican Ybarra Dismisses Controversies As 'Campaign Rhetoric'

Adam Cotterell
Boise State Public Radio

Republican Sherri Ybarra says her at-times bumpy campaign for Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction is a result of increased public scrutiny on a political newcomer. But the school administrator from Mountain Home says she understands the focus that's on her comes with a run for public office.

Ybarra won the GOP primary in May after raising just a few hundred dollars. She's running against DemocratJana Jones to replace Tom Luna, who decided not to seek a third term.

"I think that [controversy] all relates back to what we know as campaign rhetoric," Ybarra says. "Campaigns are exactly that. They're just the political arena. I have never hidden the fact that I'm new on the political scene. I feel that I will do a fantastic job for Idahoans."

Jones, the Democrat in the race who works as a consultant, says funding and morale are the two biggest issues facing Idaho's public schools. Ybarra agrees that morale among teachers needs to be improved. But the GOP candidate isn't ready to say that Idaho must increase its public school spending in order to get better results. Ybarra says she'll wait until she assumes the position before taking a stand on the state's public school budget.

"Be thoughtful," she says of her plan to examine public school spending, "and study it, and make sure that there are no strings attached, and that school districts have opportunities for local control before you make a blanket statement that we just need to have the old 'tax and spend 'mentality."

Ybarra says she does have a "sneaking suspicion" that school budgets are spread "dangerously thin."

Both candidates have backgrounds in education and vary little on some issues. But Ybarra insists voters have a "stark" choice.

"One of the most obvious factors is that I've been on the front lines with my sleeves rolled up, earning the respect of the very team that I have to lead forward," Ybarra says. "My opponent has been working on the peripheral of education, meaning on the outside, in the business arena."

Follow Scott Graf on Twitter @ScottGrafRadio

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.