Durst files paperwork for state superintendent’s run

Former state legislator Branden Durst has filed initial paperwork to run for superintendent of public instruction in 2022.

The Boise resident is also switching parties. Durst served in the Legislature for five years as a Democrat. In a Jan. 9 filing with the secretary of state’s office, Durst named himself as his campaign treasurer, and said he will run for state superintendent on the Republican ticket.

In a pair of tweets Tuesday, Durst said he will reveal more details about his campaign later this week.

“A cornerstone of my campaign for state superintendent is to #empowerparents,” Durst wrote this morning. “The last year has shown how little control parents actually have over their children’s education and that has to change. Unfortunately, the current #idedu leadership won’t do it. I will.”

Republican Sherri Ybarra is in her second term as state superintendent. She has not discussed her re-election plans — and the formal candidate filing period doesn’t come until early 2022. According to a recent filing at the secretary of state’s office, Ybarra has an active treasurer, Cheryl McMurtry of Meridian. Ybarra reported little fundraising activity for 2020 — only $380 in contributions that Ybarra made to her own campaign.

Durst served two terms in the Idaho House, from 2007 to 2010. He lost in a 2010 state Senate race but was elected in 2012 and was assigned a seat on the Senate Education Committee. He resigned in November 2013, after KTVB reported Durst was splitting his time between Boise and the Seattle area.

After moving back to Boise, Durst has tried at least twice to return to the public eye.

He ran for Boise school board in 2018, finishing a distant fifth among six candidates vying for three trustees’ seats.

In 2019, Durst applied for a State Board of Education vacancy.

Disclosure: In a 2013 guest opinion, published by several newspapers, Durst labeled Idaho Education News “pseudo-journalism” and a “propaganda page,” and criticized me personally, misrepresenting my previous work at the Idaho Statesman. Since then, Durst and I have disagreed numerous times on social media.

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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