Otter endorses West Ada recalls

Gov. Butch Otter and first lady Lori Otter endorsed the recall of two West Ada school trustees, as the heated election heads to a Tuesday vote.

Press Club Otter
Gov. Butch Otter

“It is important to keep building on, rather than disrupting, the success that the West Ada School District has achieved through years of hard work and dedication,” Otter said in a news release issued by recall supporters Thursday.

West Ada board chair Tina Dean and trustee Carol Sayles face a Tuesday recall election. Two other trustees, Russell Joki and Julie Madsen, have already resigned rather than face a recall election.

The trustees openly clashed with former Superintendent Linda Clark, who resigned in October and recently agreed to a $160,000 settlement with the district. Clark and Otter have close political ties; she served on the governor’s education task force in 2013, and in July Otter appointed Clark to a vacancy on the State Board of Education.

Recall supporters Thursday released a list of endorsements:

  • Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd and her husband, Jan de Weerd.
  • Assistant Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise.
  • Senator Cliff Bayer, R-Meridian.
  • Rep. Thomas Dayley, R-Boise.
  • Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian.
  • Kent Goldthorpe, president, Ada County Highway District Commission.
  • Former State Board members Milford Terrell and Rod Lewis.
  • Former Meridian school Superintendent Christine Donnell.
  • Former district trustees Larry Andrews, Sue Ann Baxter, Steve Givens, Loraine Hand, Jim Keller, Reid Olsen, Louis Pifher, Anne Ritter and Bill Robison.
  • The Meridian Chamber of Commerce and the Boise Regional Realtors.

Not all the names are new. Donnell and Olsen have been working on the recall for months, and the chamber and realtors’ endorsements had been announced previously.

It will take a majority vote to recall the trustees. In addition, the votes for recall must exceed the number of votes the trustees received in their 2013 elections; Dean received 185 votes, Sayles received 339 votes.

Click here to read more about all of Tuesday’s elections, and click here to read more about the West Ada controversy.

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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