Primary election endorsement scorecard

I had an interesting Twitter conversation on Election Night. A follower asked whether newspaper endorsements are effective, how we make our decisions, and how Statesman-endorsed candidates fared in Tuesday’s elections.

I’ll first answer the numbers question. Our editorial board endorsed 35 candidates for Congress and county offices and legislative seats in Ada and Canyon counties. Twenty-three of these candidates won, a 65.7 percent rate.

As I say after every election, I use these numbers as a reality check — a way for us to see how our view of the candidates compares with the electorate’s view. Our board isn’t trying to pick who we think will win; if anything, we sometimes endorse a candidate who we know has little or no chance of winning.

So how do we make our decisions? I hope, by the way we write and edit endorsements, you’ll know what issues — and what political and professional experience — tipped the balance in favor of a candidate.

My Twitter follower, a self-described “change” voter, took us to task for picking a lot of “status quo” candidates. A fair observation. We placed a premium on governing experience — especially in legislative races, since we know that with retirements and defections, there will be significant turnover in the Statehouse this year.

In other words, a “change” voter can look at our endorsements, and our reasoning, and make a more informed decision about who represents “change.”

Ultimately, I think endorsements are effective — because they get readers a little more information about candidates, and one more point of view to consider before voting. As long as endorsements help voters make their own decisions, they serve a purpose.

Here is the breakdown:

• First Congressional District, GOP: Raul Labrador (won).
• First Congressional District, Democrat: Jimmy Farris (won).
• Second Congressional District, GOP: Mike Simpson (won).
• Second Congressional District, Democrat: Nicole LeFavour (won).

Canyon County:
• Commissioner, District 1, GOP: Steve Rule (won).
• Commissioner, District 3, GOP: Craig Hanson (won).
• Sheriff, GOP: Kieran Donahue (won).

Ada County:
• Commissioner, District 1, GOP: Jim Tibbs (won).
• Commissioner, District 3, GOP: Sharon Ullman (lost).
• Sheriff, GOP: Gary Raney (won).

• District 10, Senate, GOP: Jim Rice (won).
• District 10, House A, GOP: Jarom Wagoner (lost).
• District 11, Senate, GOP: Patti Anne Lodge (won).
• District 11, House A, GOP: Gayle Batt (won).
• District 11, House B, GOP: Christy Perry (won).
• District 12, Senate, GOP: Todd Lakey (won).
• District 12, House A, GOP: Robert Anderst (won).
• District 14, Senate, GOP: Stan Bastian (lost).
• District 14, House B, GOP: Reed DeMordaunt (won).
• District 15, House A, Democrat: Richard Keller (won).
• District 15, House B, GOP: Mark Patterson (won).
• District 16, House B, Democrat: Hy Kloc (won).
• District 16, House B, GOP: Graham Paterson (won).
• District 17, Senate, GOP: Judy Peavey-Derr (won).
• District 17, House B, Democrat: Sue Chew (won).
• District 18, Senate, Democrat: Branden Durst (won).
• District 18, House B, GOP: John Hruby (lost).
• District 19, House A, Democrat: Troy Rohn (lost).
• District 19, House A, GOP: Geoffrey Talmon (lost).
• District 19, House B, Democrat: Brad Goodsell (lost).
• District 20, House A, GOP: Richard Dees (lost).
• District 20, House B, GOP: Tom LeClaire (lost).
• District 21, House A, GOP: Robert Simison (lost).
• District 21, House B, GOP: Mike Vuittonet (lost).
• District 22, House B, GOP: Fred Tilman (lost).

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Hope Floats

"I hope, by the way we write and edit endorsements, you’ll know what issues — and what political and professional experience — tipped the balance in favor of a candidate"

Why rely on hope?
How about spelling out what exact issues and which side of those issues are important to your endorsements?

Charts work really well for us simple minded readers...

"I've been following Idaho politics for more than......

a quarter-century and this is as unpredictable an election I've ever seen." Really? How did you miss this one so badly KR?


Like I said, and say every election year, the goal of endorsements is not to predict winners.

So I'm not sure what your point is — and what it is you thought I "missed."

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

What you missed was.....

the predictability of the outcome of this election. You said on April 26th that a "strange election was brewing." Todays front page talks about the "Absence of the unexpected" and "incmbents fared well". I don't know anyone who thought this was going to be a "strange election"; I don't know anyone who thought incmbents wouldn't fare well - except, I guess, you. Closed primary or not, the outcome was very predictable - just wondering how you thought it would be "strange".

What are you talking about tet?

The problem here is that Kevin is speaking in English and tetpilot is listening in dingbat. Everyone expected surprises on Tuesday and it turns out the only surprise is that there were't really any surprises. I'm with richert on this one. Incu mbents did better than the folks who pushed for a closed primary expected them to do. I assume tet was one of those pushing for a closed primary so his/her claim to not be surprised seems a bit insincere.

Kevin, I have read your

Kevin, I have read your columns for years- sometimes they are interesting and sometimes it appears you never get out of your office and never talk to anyone. Take your Democratic endorsements in District 19 - you did not endorse either the best candidates nor the one most likely to win - if you had come down into the district and talked to people you would have known that. Get out of your shel, actually do some reporting for a change.