Election night live blog

7:15 a.m.: The final, unofficial numbers from the state superintendent’s race:

Sherri Ybarra, 216,961 (50.7 percent).

Jana Jones, 211,246 (49.3 percent).

3:13 a.m.: So here’s where we stand now in the superintendent’s race.

Republican Sherri Ybarra holds a 10,191-vote lead, with 72 precincts uncounted.

But 69 of those precincts are in Ada County. And so far, Democrat Jana Jones has run strong in Ada County. In the 76 precincts counted so far, Jones has received more than 61 percent of the vote. Looking at the raw vote count, Jones has outpolled Ybarra, so far, by 17,170 votes in Ada County.

That means there could be enough votes hanging fire in Ada County to flip this outcome. Either way, this looks like it will be extremely close.

(The other three missing precincts are in Benewah County. Those should help Ybarra. So far, she has commanded 66.5 percent of the vote in this North Idaho county.)

2:12 a.m.: A couple of razor-thin legislative finishes in north-central Idaho Tuesday night.

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, appears to have survived a challenge from Republican Mike Kingsley, 6,254-6,206, a 48-vote win.

Meanwhile, Democrat Dan Rudolph defeated Rep. Thyra Stevenson 6,230-6,204 — a 26-vote win.

All precincts have been counted in both races.

1:59 a.m.: Here’s why those outstanding Ada County precincts matter in the state superintendent’s race.

Jana Jones has 61.8 percent of the vote, so far, in Ada County. Looking at the raw numbers, she has a 14,500-vote lead in Ada County over Sherri Ybarra — and that’s with only 52 precincts counted.

There are 93 precincts uncounted in Ada County. That’s a lot of uncounted votes.

1:46 a.m.: At this point, 167 precincts are uncounted. How might that affect the superintendent’s race?

It’s hard to draw many conclusions, but 93 of those precincts are in Ada County. Missing Boise districts would likely favor Democrat Jana Jones, while western Ada County districts would likely favor Sherri Ybarra.

There are 34 missing precincts in Kootenai County and 27 in Canyon County, which would tend to favor Ybarra.

The remaining missing precincts: Bonner County (8), Benewah County (3), Boise County (2).

In other words, for Jones to win, her only hope may be a big count out of Ada County.

12:27 a.m.: When the smoke clears from this election, I suspect there will be a good deal of talk about A.J. Balukoff’s largely self-funded campaign.

A couple of numbers to consider. At this point, after spending at least $3.2 million on his challenge to Gov. Butch Otter, Balukoff has 113,566 votes. That adds up to fewer votes than Democratic secretary of state’s candidate Holli Woodings, who loaned her campaign close to $200,000, and only slightly more votes than Democratic treasurer’s candidate Deborah Silver.

Bruce Bistline — the Democratic attorney general’s candidate — has 92,045 votes. And Bistline basically suspended campaigning after incumbent Lawrence Wasden secured the GOP nomination.

12:05 a.m.: The back-and-forth in the superintendent’s race continues. Sherri Ybarra’s lead had swelled to about 4,000 votes. Now, Jana Jones has pulled to within about 3,000, with 68 percent of precincts reporting. The race that was believed to be the closest heading into tonight has lived up to expectations.

11:45 p.m.: Quickly updating the legislative numbers: Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, now has 53.8 percent in his race in District 5. And incumbent Rep. Cindy Agidius, R-Moscow, is now trailing in that same district, to Democratic challenger Paulette Jordan.

11:36 p.m.: By my count, at this point, three legislative incumbents are trailing: Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow; Rep. Thyra Stevenson, R-Lewiston; and Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise. Rep. Steve Miller, R-Fairfield, had been trailing early, by now has a little less than a 200-vote lead over Democratic challenger Dick Fosbury.

11:31 p.m.: Latest state superintendent’s numbers: Sherri Ybarra now holds about a 2,000-vote lead over Jana Jones, with 56 percent of precincts in.

10:50 p.m.: The horse race in the superintendents’ race continues. Republican Sherri Ybarra has opened about a 400-vote lead over Democrat Jana Jones. Only 36 percent of precincts in.

10:35 p.m.: Associated Press is calling the governor’s race for incumbent Butch Otter.

Otter had been gradually extending his lead through the evening, so the call from AP is not really a surprise.

And in the state superintendent’s race, Republican Sherri Ybarra is slowly gaining ground. Democrat Jana Jones is leading, but with only 52 percent of the vote.

10:19 p.m.: Gov. Butch Otter continues to pad his lead in the governor’s race. He’s now at 52 percent of the vote.

Another legislative upset brewing, in Central Idaho’s District 26. Democrat Dick Fosbury, the Olympic high jumper who developed the “Fosbury Flop,” is defeating one-term Rep. Steve Miller, R-Fairfield. This is a district where Democrats fare well; it includes the Democratic stronghold of Blaine County.

10:02 p.m.: One legislative upset in the making, in West Boise’s District 15. Democrat Steve Berch holds 55 percent of the vote over Republican incumbent Lynn Luker.

9:52 p.m.: Numbers more or less holding steady most of the evening in the state superintendent’s race. Democrat Jana Jones hovering in the 54 to 55 percent range.

9:43 p.m.: Closest race of the night, so far, is shaping up to be the secretary of state’s race. Lawerence Denney has extended his lead over Holli Woodings, but with 12 percent of precincts in, the lead is only 854 votes.

9:30 p.m.: Nine percent of precincts in. Republican Lawerence Denney leading Democrat Holli Woodings by only 47 votes in the secretary of state’s race.

9:26 p.m.: The early results are starting to come in. (Only 54 of 965 precincts are in.) Three statewide Democrats have early leads: gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff, state superintendent’s candidate Jana Jones and secretary of state’s candidate Holli Woodings. Of course, it’s hard to tell where these results came from — or how representative they are. Live results all night, at this link.

8 p.m.: Good evening, and welcome to our Election Night live blog.

Polls are closing in Southern Idaho, with one more hour of voting in the Pacific time zone.

Since we don’t have numbers yet, let’s walk through our coverage lineup tonight:

  • Clark Corbin will lead our coverage of the state superintendent’s race between Jana Jones and Sherri Ybarra — a showdown that could go down to the wire, if last weekend’s polling holds.
  • Jennifer Swindell will write on the governor’s race, as Gov. Butch Otter seeks a third term, challenged by Boise businessman an school trustee A.J. Balukoff.
  • While Clark and Jennifer are at Republican and Democratic headquarters, I will be blogging here and writing about the other races of note — starting with the open race for secretary of state, an election with implications for the Land Board and the K-12 endowment. If you’re in the Treasure Valley, catch me on KIVI and KNIN; I’ll be providing analysis on air as well as here on the blog.
  • If you’re just a numbers person, we’ll have you covered there too. Just check our elections results page for the latest numbers on the statewide races.

Hope you’ll stay with us for a busy, eventful election night.

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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