The majority of Custer County voters Tuesday stuck with Republican incumbents in statewide, legislative and county offices and re-elected incumbent Commissioner Wayne Butts in his race against fellow Republican write-in challenger Jeri D’Orazio. Butts garnered 1,363 to 588 cast for D’Orazio.
Unofficial results from the Custer County Clerk’s office released Wednesday morning showed Butts had received 69.8 percent of the 1,951 votes cast in that race.
Butts, 63, has been a county commissioner for 15 years. He sought re-election to a two-year term to his District 1 seat against 55-year-old D’Orazio who staged a write-in campaign earlier this summer.
Experience, is why Butts said voters should choose him over D’Orazio. Butts touted two positions he holds as important for Custer County in its ongoing battle to keep federal payment in lieu of taxes and Secure Rural Schools funding. He is chairman of the Idaho Association of County’s Public Lands Committee and on the executive board of the National Association of Counties’ Western Interstate Region. Neither seat could have been transferred to D’Orazio or any other Custer County Commissioner. It’s the person, not the board that holds those positions, Butts said.
D’Orazio said he planned to run for the commission in two years. But, he said, after several county residents asked him to run this year because they didn’t think the incumbent board of commissioners listens to them and they don’t feel welcome at meetings, he opted to stage the write-in campaign.