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Voters bring change to local school boards, pass school levies

A black car with the West Ada School District logo on it.
Michael Lycklama
Idaho Statesman

Candidates running for local school boards against mask requirements and teaching critical race theory were successful races for seats on the West Ada and Nampa School Boards Tuesday.

In the state’s largest school district, West Ada, candidates Lori Ann Frasure and Angie Redford won seats on the back of campaigns which promoted mask-optional and anti-CRT policies.

In the Nampa School district, Tracey Pearson, Brook Taylor and Jeff Kirkman each won by significant margins with similar campaign platforms.

School board races are non-partisan, but divisive issues led to crowded fields in many districts, bringing out partisan endorsements. Both Ada County and the state Republican Party endorsed Frasure and Redford in West Ada races.

West Ada voters approved renewal of an existing two-year school levy with 52% of the vote. Voters in Buhl and Minidoka School districts also approved funding levies Tuesday.

Some races throughout the state were extremely tight. In McCall, sitting school board chairperson Laurie Erekson retained her seat by just five votes over challenger Anna Kinney. In McCall-Donnelly School District zone 3, Jeremy Griffin edged Rachel Esplin by 10 points to win the seat currently held by Heidi Galyardt, who did not run again.

Meanwhile, Kyrsti Bruce unseated current Kuna school board member Sallie Ann McArthur by 23 votes. Bruce’s husband Chris won the most votes in a four-person race for two Kuna City Council seats Tuesday.

Results are unofficial until certified.

Troy Oppie is a reporter and local host of 'All Things Considered' for Boise State Public Radio News.

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