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Politics & Government

John McGee Won't Oppose Caldwell City Council Runoff

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James Dawson
/
Boise State Public Radio

Disgraced former lawmaker, John McGee, says he will not challenge Caldwell’s decision to hold a runoff election to decide a city council race.

McGee won the most votes last week for a Caldwell City Council seat, but he didn’t get more than 50% of the vote. Caldwell city code says candidates must be elected by a “majority.”

During a press conference Monday, McGee said he won’t oppose a runoff that Canyon County announced on Friday.

That contest pits him against Idaho State Democratic Party Chair, Evangeline Beechler, who earned nearly 200 fewer votes than McGee. In a statement, he accused Democrats of using the party’s power to “block the will of the people of Caldwell.”

His lawyer, former state attorney general David Leroy, questioned the move to hold a runoff. Caldwell city code also says that candidates must win “a majority of the qualified electors,” which refers to registered voters, according to Leroy.

Since fewer than 50% of registered voters even showed up to vote in that election last week, Leroy said the city should either ignore the language, or hold runoffs for each of the three open seats. In the meantime, he said Caldwell City Council should hold an emergency meeting to clarify the city code.

McGee formerly served in the Idaho State Senate until 2012. He pled guilty to misdemeanor DUI, while a felony charge related to him allegedly stealing an SUV during the same incident was dropped.

He also pled guilty to misdemeanor disturbing the peace, admitting to sexually harassing a political staffer and violating terms of his probation.

“Over the last eight years I have paid my debt and accepted responsibility. The people of Caldwell have spoken and I am grateful that they are giving me a second chance,” McGee said.

No date has been set for the runoff election.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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