This week’s question: What are you watching in the Idaho elections this fall and why?
David Johnston - Executive Director, Idaho Republican Party. In addition to the Presidential race and Idaho's congressional races, I'm closely watching a handful of important state legislative races. In particular 4 legislative districts:
-Legislative District 6 (Lewiston) with Republican candidates Senator Dan Johnson, Mike Kingsley, and Thyra Stevenson
-Legislative District 5 (Moscow) with Republican candidates Rep. Carolyn Troy, Carl Berglund, and Dan Forman
-Legislative District 15 (Boise) with Republican candidates Senator Fred Martin, Rep. Pat McDonald, and Rep. Lynn Luker
-Legislative District 26 (Sun Valley) with Republican candidates Rep. Steve Miller, Alex Sutter, and Dale Ewerson
Justin Vaughn - Professor Political Science, Boise State University. I'm interested to see what the down-ballot impact of both Trump and Clinton are, since they are among the least popular presidential candidates ever. It will also be interesting to see how the ground efforts by both parties pay off in key districts such as 5, 15, 6, and 26.
Damond Watkins - RNC National Committeeman. I am most interested in seeing what implications will be on Idaho races as a result from the presidential race. I have been fascinated with how Donald Trump has literally changed the way politicians seek public office. He has created an entirely new voting demographic and the Republican Party will likely never be the same. The impact of his race will surely have state implications, particularly on the Idaho Supreme Court race. I am most interested in that race simply because I get a sense that the electorate is more engaged in this judicial race then in years past.
John Zarian - General Counsel, NCCCO. I am watching the runoff election between Sen. Curt McKenzie and Robyn Brody for the State Supreme Court seat being vacated by Chief Justice Jim Jones. Choosing candidates in a judge's race can be extremely difficult for voters, and the election is nonpartisan, but this is nevertheless an important race for a very important office.
Todd Cranney - Managing Partner, Riverwood Strategies. I think the Supreme Court race looks very interesting and anyone’s ballgame right now. Also, I am interested to follow some of the competitive legislative races. Turnout could be an interesting wildcard.