Following the dollars: Idaho’s spendiest school board elections (UPDATED, 11.7.23)

(UPDATED, Nov. 7, with new fundraising figures.)

With Tuesday’s school elections just around the corner, let’s take an updated look at campaign finance reports.

Our top 10 list of the spendiest school board elections hasn’t changed much, although there is one newcomer to the list, some shufflings in the rankings and a smattering of new contributions in the past two weeks.

Here’s the top 10 (plus two other races that have cleared the $5,000 threshold):

West Ada, Zone 5: $59,845

Tom Moore: $50,784, including $50,067 in loans from the candidate.

Rene Ozuna (incumbent): $9,061, including $1,000 from Meridian Mayor Robert Simison, and $1,000 from Engineered Structures Inc., a builder with ties to West Ada. 

Coeur d’Alene, Zone 2: $34,009

James McAndrew: $17,523, including $200 from former Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs and $50 from former North Idaho College trustee and state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene.

Yasmin Harris: $15,884, including $100 from Brent Regan, chairman, Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

Paul Mahlow: $602, entirely self-funded. 

Kuna, Zone 1: $21,614

Hillary Lowe: $14,159, including $1,000 apiece from Tyler and Constance Youngkin, San Ysidro, Calif., and Quincy Youngkin, Kuna; $1,000 from W. Scott Schirmer, Phoenix; $1,000 from William Brownlee, Peoria, Ariz.

Joy Thomas (incumbent): $7,455, largely from Democratic donors, including former gubernatorial candidate and Boise school trustee A J Balukoff ($1,000); Susie Balukoff ($1,000) and House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise ($1,000).

Blaine County, Zone 5: $20,144

Lara Stone (incumbent): $10,804, including $200 from former House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, and Jim Jaquet.

Bailey Brooks: $9,340, including $1,000 from Push Back Idaho, and $20 from fellow Blaine County trustee’s candidate Nora Roebuck.

Kuna, Zone 2: $17,454

Kristi Hardy: $15,954, including $1,000 apiece from Tyler, Constance and Quincy Youngkin; Schirmer; and Brownlee.

James Grant: $1,500, entirely self-funded.

Caldwell, Zone 3: $10,898

Travis Manning (incumbent): $9,240, including $1,000 from A J Balukoff; $1,000 from Conservation Voters of Idaho; $100 from former Boise school superintendent Don Coberly; and $100 from former state Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City.

Nicole Trakel: $1,658, including $200 from state Sen. Cindy Carlson, R-Riggins, and $50 from Kent Marmon, Caldwell.

West Ada, Zone 4: $8,947

Miguel Deluna: $2,901, including $1,000 from Moore.

David Binetti (incumbent): $5,321, entirely self-funded.

Mari Gates: $725.

Coeur d’Alene, Zone 3: $7,305

Heather Tenbrink (incumbent): $5,295.

Richard Blatt: $2,010, including $100 from Brent Regan, Kootenai Republican Central Committee chairman and an Idaho Freedom Foundation board member.

West Bonner, Zone 1: $6,050

Margaret Hall (incumbent): $5,207.

Alan Galloway: $843.

West Bonner, Zone 5: $6,024

Carlyn Barton (incumbent): $4,714.

Kathy Nash: $1,310, including $699.64 from recently recalled trustee Keith Rutledge.

Nampa, Zone 2: $5,936

Adam Schasel: $5,122, including $100 from Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville.

David Jennings: $814, including $491.74 from Nampa trustee Brook Taylor.

Lake Pend Oreille, Zone 1: $5,344

Jennifer McKnight: $4,344.

Scott Wood: $1,000.

Rebecca Holland: No fundraising activity.

Other notable races

  • In another Caldwell race, challenger Nicole Hyland has received $2,633 — including $500 from state Sen. Chris Trakel, R-Caldwell, and $521.49 from fellow trustee’s candidate Ray Horrell. Incumbent Andrew Butler has raised $1,025.
  • Challengers have outraised incumbents in the three contested races in Moscow. Cody Barr has outraised Jim Frenzel, Gay Lynn Clyde has outraised Dulce Kersting-Lark, and James Gray holds a fundraising edge over Dawna Fazio.
  • Trustee elections are nonpartisan, but the Valley County Republican Central Committee has contributed $1,000 to McCall-Donnelly candidate Jim Cole and Cascade candidate Paula Bartlett.
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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