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In unusual move, Ada County GOP endorses nonpartisan CWI election candidates

A sign outside a large building that reads "Vote here" and is decorated with stars.

The Ada County GOP Central Committee is endorsing candidates running for the College of Western Idaho’s board of trustees, despite those positions being nonpartisan.

CWI was founded in 2007 and now has roughly 30,000 students.

Four of the five trustee positions will be on the ballot in November. Three trustees are running as incumbents, while four newcomers are endorsed by Ada County Republicans and are featured on the Idaho Republican Party website.

Stephanie Witt, a public policy professor at Boise State University, said candidates openly running under a political party is unusual for these races.

“It's supposed to be about just good government running them efficiently and effectively,” she said. "That was the intent in separating those local offices from the partisan electoral process."

In a video posted on Facebook, the four contenders denounced the college’s wasteful spending and “woke training.” Witt says the candidates’ ideological platforms reflect conservative talking points but the unpaid positions are mostly administrative.

“Governing this institution has this critical role in preparing adult learners for jobs and citizenship and further higher education,” she said. “This is a lot of nuts and bolts. There’s not a ton of indoctrination and social and critical race theory.”

Trustees are elected for 2 to 4-year terms and must reside in either Ada or Canyon County.

Find reporter Julie Luchetta on Twitter @JulieLuchetta.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.