UPDATED STORY: Breaking down the IEA’s fall endorsements

(UPDATED, Oct. 14, with corrected endorsement information from the Idaho Education Association.)

The Idaho Education Association has announced its fall election endorsements — with a few wrinkles.

Perhaps the biggest twist is that the teachers’ union went public with this round of endorsements. As Idaho Education News reported in May, the IEA posted its endorsements on its website — but urged its members not to share the choices on social media. “These endorsements are intended as a resource for IEA members only,” the union said on its website.

This time around, the IEA announced its endorsements in a Wednesday news release. And on its website, the IEA emphasized its bipartisan choices. Pro-public education policy stances — not political party affiliation — are the primary requirement to earn an IEA member endorsement.”

All told, the IEA endorsed five statewide candidates: three Republicans and two Democrats. In the legislative races, the IEA endorsed 30 Democrats and 24 Republicans.

Here’s a closer look at the endorsements:

  • The IEA stuck with four statewide picks from the spring: Gov. Brad Little; GOP lieutenant governor’s candidate Scott Bedke; GOP secretary of state’s candidate Phil McGrane; and Democratic state superintendent’s candidate Terry Gilbert. In the attorney general’s race, the IEA is backing Tom Arkoosh, who entered the race on the Democratic ticket in July. (The IEA had endorsed incumbent Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in the spring.)
  • The IEA endorsed eight members of the Senate and House education committees: Sens. Dave Lent and Kevin Cook, both R-Idaho Falls; Sen. David Nelson, D-Moscow; Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise; House Education Chairman Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls; Rep. Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell; Rep. Lori McCann, R-Lewiston; and Rep. Steve Berch, D-Boise.
  • The IEA also endorsed seven members of the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee: Sen. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle; Rep. Matthew Bundy, R-Mountain Home; Reps. Colin Nash and Brooke Green, both D-Boise; Lent; Cook; and Ward-Engelking.
  • The IEA endorsed against three House Education conservatives. The IEA endorsed Boise Democrat Rick Just over Republican Rep. Codi Galloway, now running for a state Senate seat. The IEA endorsed Post Falls Democrat Teresa Borrenphol over Rep. Tony Wisniewski, R-Post Falls. The IEA also endorsed Idaho Falls Democrat Miranda Marquit over Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls.
  • In one House race in Caldwell, the IEA endorsed Republican Chris Allgood and Democrat Marisela Pesina, a Caldwell School Board trustee. The union said both candidates represent “the perspectives and values of IEA members.”
Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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