Bieter And McLean Trade Barbs Ahead Of Boise Mayor Runoff
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter came out swinging Monday in an interview about his upcoming runoff election. Appearing on Boise State Public Radio’s Idaho Matters, he criticized is opponent, City Council President Lauren McLean.
Bieter, who has never faced a serious challenger as mayor, finds himself in an unfamiliar position: the underdog.
The four-term mayor faces an uphill battle in a runoff after coming in second by nearly 16 points to McLean in a seven-way general election. But no candidate got more than 50% of votes, and by city rules that means a runoff between the top vote getters.
In his interview Monday, Bieter took several shots at McLean.
“People know me and they don’t know her. Now, they’ll have time to get to know her and I think that will help me,” he said.
McLean pushed back, saying the lopsided election night result showed people were disappointed with Bieter’s results.
“Boiseans want a new style of leadership and they want a leader who’s accessible, who’s willing to meet them where they’re at, to recognize we’re at a crossroads and need a new sense of urgency and new energy," she said.
Bieter said supporters encouraged him to continue to fight despite the lopsided result in the general election.
“There will be a time for me to step aside,” he said. “This is not that time.”
Bieter and McLean will square off Tuesday at a City Club of Boise forum, but there seems to be some confusion about the rest of the debate schedule. Bieter said he thought there would be at least five debates. A Bieter spokesman later clarified that they had agreed to three debates with three more invitations pending. McLean’s campaign said they had only agreed to the City Club forum.
The runoff is set for Dec. 3 and early voting will begin Nov. 18.
Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter, @HDruzin
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