Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little was elected the state’s next governor on Tuesday, capping a campaign that he launched a full two and a half years ago to succeed current three-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter.
Early Wednesday morning the Idaho Secretary of State’s website listed Little, the Republican candidate, with 59.5 percent of the vote to Democrat Paulette Jordan’s 38.4 percent. He tallied 340,433 votes to 219,854 votes for Jordan.
It was a relatively strong showing for a Democrat in Idaho — the state hasn’t elected a Democrat governor since Cecil Andrus in 1990 — and Jordan’s bid drew nationwide attention. If elected, the former two-term state representative and Coeur d’Alene Tribe member, who is 38, would have been the nation’s first Native American elected governor.
Idahoans elected a female lieutenant governor on Tuesday, in a historic first.
With 912 of 959 precincts tallied, Republican Janice McGeachin led with 59.3 percent of the vote to Democrat Kristin Collum’s 40.7 percent — 334,499 votes to 229,272.
Idaho state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra was narrowly ahead of Democratic challenger Cindy Wilson as of 8:35 a.m. Wednesday, according to unofficial results from the secretary of state.
With 912 of 959 precincts reporting, Ybarra had received 287,419 votes, 51.2 percent to Wilson’s 274,421, or 48.8 percent, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.
Proposition 2 which expands Medicaid coverage to an estimated 62,000 Idahoans, was passed with 345,960 voters saying yes and 223,221 opposing the plan. That’s 60.8 percent in favor and 39.2 percent against the plan.
In other top state races, incumbent Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney both won re-election.
Wasden, Idaho’s longest-serving attorney general, won an unprecedented fifth term, defeating Democratic challenger Bruce Bistline, a Boise attorney. With 912 of 959 precincts reporting, Wasden had 65 percent to Bistline’s 35 percent, 361,057 votes to 194,008.
Denney defeated Democratic challenger Jill Humble to win a second four-year term as the state’s chief elections officer. With 912 of 959 precincts reporting, Denney had 62.2 percent to Humble’s 37.8 percent, 347,654 votes to 211,647.
Republican Congressman Mike Simpson won an 11th term representing Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District. And the GOP’s Russ Fulcher won Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.
In unofficial results Simpson beat Democrat Aaron Swisher 169,671 votes to 110,221, taking 60.6 percent of the vote to Swisher’s 39.4 percent. With with 912 out of 959 precincts reporting, Fulcher received 176,475 votes compared with his next closest challenger Democrat Cristina McNeil’s 88,362. Custer County is in Congressional District 2.
In unofficial results, with 912 precincts reporting out of 959, Proposition 1, allowing some forms of gambling on horse racing, was defeated. A total of 308,249 Idaho voters opposed the plan with 260,571 supporting it. That translates to 54.2 percent against and 45.8 percent in favor.