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Idaho Enterprise

Elections held Tuesday; Results Wednesday

Keynote speaker Jim Noorlander spoke to a full room at this year's Republican dinner.

The primary season is finally over, barring any extremely unlikely ties or run-off elections.  Due to both the election and the printing schedules, however, the Enterprise will not be able to print the results of Tuesday’s election in the main print section of the paper until official results have been canvassed next Monday.  In lieu of that, we will include an insert in this week’s edition with the unofficial results posted by the clerk’s office on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, which you will find inside today’s paper.  Bear in mind that the results are not fully official until the Board of County Commissioners has officially accepted them at their next scheduled meeting, which, again, is next Monday.

In preparation for the election, Oneida County’s Central Republican Committee hosted the Lincoln Day Dinner for the third year in a row, returning after a several year hiatus.  This year’s event gave candidates for state offices, county commission seats, and precinct committeeperson positions a chance to introduce themselves to the Republican voters in attendance, as well as support the efforts of the Central Committee through an auction which will help fund efforts to send delegates to the state convention.

In addition to the candidate introductions, which saw every candidate in attendance get a chance to present their positions and plans for the future to the crowd, the event featured the remarks of Idaho State GOP Chair Dorothy Moon, event emcee Sterling Smith, and featured speaker Jim Noorlander.  Noorlander closed the event with a discussion of what he saw as the difference between “freedom” and “liberty,” which he essentially defined as the difference between license and morality, encouraging the audience to pursue a moral path in life and in politics.

The event was catered by the IronDoor Smokehouse, which provided pork with a number of sides.  The Boy Scouts provided the flag ceremony for the evening, which also featured a musical number by the Christine Snow and Marie Addis, accompanied by Jean Thomas on the Event Center’s newly
acquired piano. 

While some of the tension between the two wings of the current GOP—one of which is more firmly aligned with MAGA movement politics and the other is not—was evident during the evening’s dinner, this was largely the case at the statewide level, rather than locally.  In terms of local candidates, politeness and mutual respect seemed to be the ruling ethos and were in fact mentioned by a number of the candidates in their presentations.  Shared concerns about issues such as growth, the impact of immigration on the local economy, and protection of land and gun rights were expressed by many of the candidates, but it was clear that there was a shared belief in protecting the rural, small-town culture which defines the Malad valley, while allowing business and private industry to flourish as well.  

With Oneida County generally voting over 85% Republican in general elections, the primary essentially has stood in for the general election for several decades.  Although one can never predict how things may change down the road (both Oneida county and Idaho itself have had periods characterized by iconic Democratic leaders like Frank Church and Cecil Andrus), it is likely that the primary results will also stand in for the general election results.  In both cases, the vast majority of votes will be for the GOP, but it will be interesting to see which direction, if such a thing can be said to exist in local election results, the county seems to be leaning heading toward November.   

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