Election Results From Idaho's First All-Absentee Primary
It looks like at least one far-right candidate in Eastern Idaho won’t be returning to the statehouse in January.
Rep. Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls) lost his primary race by 134 votes to Marco Erickson. Erickson is a mental health professional who focuses on at-risk youth and suicide prevention.
You can find full unofficial election results here, but due to the all absentee ballot election, it's unclear whether full results from each precinct have been reported.
Zollinger is a lawyer who came under criticism this past year for his work as a medical debt collector – including by Idaho’s wealthiest man, Frank Vandersloot.
Zollinger’s defeat is a loss to the right-wing faction of legislative Republicans. It’s also one of several races in eastern Idaho where the tension between more moderate lawmakers and staunch conservatives was on display.
Rep. Rod Furniss (R-Rigby) and Sen. Van Burtenshaw (R-Terreton) fended off their more right-wing challengers.
But Rep. Jerald Raymond (R-Menan) appears to have lost to former legislator Karey Hanks after a possible reporting error to the Idaho Secretary of State, according to the Post Register. Rep. Britt Raybould (R-Rexburg) was also beat out by former Rep. Ron Nate, according to unofficial results. Both challengers are well-aligned with the libertarian lobbying group, the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
Also in eastern Idaho, Rep. Julianne Young (R-Blackfood), who sponsored a bill barring transgender people from changing their birth certificates this year, held onto her seat by a couple hundred votes.
Rep. Christy Zito (R-Hammett), another staunch ally of the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, won an open primary for retiring Sen. Bert Brackett's (R-Rogerson) seat covering much of rural southwest Idaho.
At the congressional level, Paulette Jordan is poised to take on Jim Risch for his U.S. Senate seat come November.
Jordan, who previously ran for governor in Idaho two years ago, easily beat Jim Vandermaas in the Democratic primary last night, according to unofficial results.
Risch took office in 2009 after spending his career in elected politics. He was unopposed for the Republican nomination this year.
Incumbent Congressman Russ Fulcher easily held off a challenge for the Republican nomination against Boise businessman Nicholas Jones.
Fulcher appears to face Democrat Rudy Soto for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District this fall.
Congressman Mike Simpson also handily won his Republican primary and will go head-to-head with Democrat Aaron Swisher later.
Election results will be certified in the coming days.
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