Lawmakers, former Ybarra staffers punctuate Critchfield supporter list

State superintendent’s candidate Debbie Critchfield has released a list of county campaign chairs.

The Republican’s roster includes 12 current or former legislators, a number of local school administrators and trustees — and four former Sherri Ybarra staffers.

Critchfield, a former State Board of Education president from Oakley, is one of two announced Republican candidates for state superintendent, along with Branden Durst, a former Democratic legislator living in Garden City. Ybarra has not yet announced whether she will seek a third term.

Among the names on Critchfield’s supporter list:

  • Former State Department of Education staffers Kelly Brady, Portia Flynn, Karlynn Laraway and Tina Polishchuk. Brady filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Ybarra in 2020, and received a $150,000 settlement in April. Through a spokeswoman, Ybarra declined comment Wednesday.
  • Two members of the Senate Education Committee and the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee — Sens. Carl Crabtree of Grangeville and Jim Woodward of Sagle. In January, Woodward and Durst had a profane exchange in the Statehouse, after Woodward cast a vote against a parental rights bill sponsored by Durst.
  • Julie Yamamoto of Caldwell, a member of the House Education Committee.
  • Former Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde of Coeur d’Alene and former House Education Committee Chairwoman Julie VanOrden of Pingree, who is serving as a substitute senator this session.
  • Clete Edmunson, a former legislator and current superintendent of the Council School District.
  • American Falls School District Superintendent Randy Jensen, who ran unsuccessfully for state superintendent in 2014.
  • Spencer Barzee, superintendent of the West Side School District.
  • Marg Chipman, a former Weiser school trustee and president of the Idaho School Boards Association.
  • Casey Morrisroe, a Coeur d’Alene school trustee.
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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