UPDATE: Wednesday, May 16, 1:30 a.m.
The vote tallies are still unofficial, but here are your headlines from Idaho’s Primary Night 2012:
Turnout was abysmal. Whether it was the Republican Party’s decision to close its ballot to insiders or the slate of candidates, voters stayed away from the polls, and when all the numbers are finalized, we could be looking at a record-low turnout for a primary.
Sharon Ullman suffered perhaps the evening's highest-profile loss. After serving on the Ada County Commission for more than a decade, Ullman was defeated by challenger Dave Case, 54 percent to 46 percent. Case had been endorsed by outgoing Commissioner Vern Bisterfeldt. Case also was a strong critic of the controversial waste-to-energy Dynamis project, which Ullman supported. Jim Tibbs easily won the other open seat for the Ada County Commission.
In the Idaho Legislature, the evening’s biggest drama wasn't resolved until the wee small hours of Wednesday.
Controversial incumbent Rep. Phil Hart lost to Republican challenger Ed Morse In the Republican race for House Seat B in District 2. Morse, a Hayden Lake real estate appraiser, defeated Hart and two other GOP challengers. Morse secured 35 percent of the vote to Hart's 31 percent, Ronald Vieselmeyer's 20 percent and Fritz Wiedenhoff's 13 percent.
In District 23, redistricting dropped two long-term Republican incumbents into the same legislative district. But when the smoke cleared, Sen. Bert Bracket (57 percent) defeated Sen. Tim Corder (43 percent).
Three-term Republican Rep. Robert Schaefer had given up his House seat to run for the Senate but lost to challenger Todd Lakey. Lakey, an attorney and former Canyon County commissioner, will run against Melissa Sue Robinson
Maria Mabbut, who won the Democratic runoff, defeating challenger Maria Mabbut Melissa Sue Robinson.
Incumbent Rep. Ken Roberts survived a challenge in the runoff for House Seat A in District 8, even when leaders of his own party threw their support and money behind his challengers.
Two members of the Greater Boise Auditorium District (who just won elections to that entity last year) had successful nights: Republican Judy Peavey-Derr won the GOP State Senate race in District 17 while Democrat Hy Kloc won his party’s race for Idaho House Seat B in District 16.
With all of Ada County's 145 precincts reporting, the unofficial totals are in for Primary Night 2012 (though a number of other races, particularly in Idaho's panhandle have yet to report).
Dave Case has successfully defeated incumbent Sharon Ullman in the Republican race for the third seat of the Ada County Commission. Case pulled down 11,471 votes (54 percent) to Ullman's 9,833 votes (46 percent).
The other race for Ada County commissioner (seat one) was won handily by Jim Tibbs.
The closest race of the evening was in Legislative District 18 in the Republican race for House Seat B (currently held by Democratic Rep. Phylis King). The GOP winner, by 29 votes, was Brad Bolicek over John Hruby.
In the Democratic race for state senator in District 18, Branden Durst won by a 3-1 margin over Matthew Duncan.
In the Democratic race for House Seat A in District 19, Mathew Erpelding (48 percent) was the winner over Troy Rohn (35 percent) and Dallas Gudgell (17 percent).
In the Democratic race for House Seat B in District 19, Holli High Woodings (56 percent) won over Brad Goodsell (39 percent) and Andy Edstrom (5 percent).
In the Republican race for State Senate in District 14, Marv Hagedorn (55 percent) was the victor over Stan Bastian (30 percent) and Gary Bauer (15 percent).
In the Republican race for House Seat A in District 21, Steven Harris (49 percent) was the winner over Robert Simison (39 percent) and Parrish Miller (12 percent).
In the Republican race for House Seat B in District 21, Thomas Dayley (34 percent) was the winner over Mike Vuittonet (23 percent), Lori Shewmaker (23 percent) and Charles Hoffman (20 percent).
With more than 82 percent of the vote counted in Ada County, Sharon Ullman's political fate is not looking too rosey.
Ullman is losing to challenger Dave Case in the Republican race for Ullman's seat (number three) as an Ada County Commissioner. Case has 9.506 votes (54 percent) to Ullman's 8.222 votes (46 percent).
Meanwhile, Jim Tibbs has easily won the Republican race in the other race (seat one) for Ada County Commissioner.
In the closely watched Republican race for House Seat B in Legislative District 22, former Ada County Commissioner Fred Tilman (35 percent) is losing to Jason Monks (41 percent). Michael Law and Stephen Warren are trailing.
In the tight Republican race for House Seat B in Legislative District 21 (being vacated by Rep. Clifford Bayer), Thomas Dayley (35 percent) holds a lead over Lori Shewmaker (23 percent), Charles Hoffman (21 percent) and Mike Vuittonet (21 percent).
In the Republican race for House Seat B in District 18, John Hruby holds the slimmest of leads -4 votes - over Brad Bolicek. The winner will faceoff with incumbent Dem. Rep. Phyllis King in November.
As we approach the witching hour, a number of candidates across Idaho have secured wins:
In what was one of the closely watched races of the campaign, the Republican race for state senate in District 23 pitted two incumbents—Sen. Bert Brackett and Sen. Tim Corder—against one another, because of redistricting. Brackett, who was endorsed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and much of the GOP political machine, defeated Corder. Bracket secured 3,009 votes (57 percent) to Corder's 2,230 votes (43 percent).
In the Republican race for state senate in District 1, incumbent Sen. Shawn Keough was an easy winner over Danielle Ahrens.
In the Republican race for state senate in District 8, incumbent Sen. Steve Thayn held a commanding lead over Alan Ward and Terry Gestrin.
In the Republican race for state senate in District 9, incumbent Sen. Monty Pearce held a comfortable lead over challenger Matthew Faulks.
In the Republican race for state senate in District 11, incumbent Sen. Patti Lodge defeated challenger Maurice Clements.
In the Republican race for state senate in District 12, incumbent Sen. Robert Schaefer (38 percent of the vote) has been upset by challenger Todd Lakey (62 percent).
In the Republican race for state senate in District 13, incumbent Sen. Curt McKenzie defeated challenger Hubert Osborne.
In the Republican race for House Seat A in District 8, incumbent Rep. Ken Roberts defeated challengers John Blattler and Dan Davis.
In the Republican race for House Seat B in District 9, incumbent Rep. Judy Boyle defeated challengers Jeri Soulier, Daniel Weston and Kendall Nelson-Jeffs.
In the Republican race for House Seat B in District 11, incumbent Christy Perry fought off challengers Matt Dorsey, Ronalee Linsenmann and John Gough.
A good many other races are still up for grabs, but perhaps none more intriguing than the Republican race for House Seat B in District 2 where controversial incumbent Rep. Phil Hart is facing three challengers.
Eighty-nine of Ada County's 145 precincts have checked in by now, representing more than 61 percent of the vote. Here are some updated results of some of the evening's more interesting races:
Dave Case is holding onto his lead over incumbent Sharon Ullman in the Republican race for Ada County commissioner, seat three. Case has 53 percent of the vote to Ullman's 47 percent.
Jim Tibbs is comfortably on his way to victory in the other open Ada County commission race (seat one).
In the Democratic race for state senator in Legislative District 18, Branden Durst is on his way to a comfortable victory.
In the Democratic race for House Seat A in Legislative District 19, Mathew Erpelding (49 percent) is holding onto to his lead over Troy Rohn (35 pecent) and Dallas Gudgell (16 percent).
In the Democratic race for House Seat B, also in Legislative District 19, Holli High Woodings (55 percent) is holding onto her lead over Brad Goodsell (40 percent) and Andy Edstrom (5 percent).
In the much-discussed write-in campaign in Legislative District 20, Democrat James Mace did get enough write-ins (115 so far) to make it to the Democratic ballot this November to faceoff with Republican incumbent Sen. Chuck Winder.
In Legislative District 14, the Republican race for state senator shows Marv Hagedorn with a comfortable lead (56 percent) over Stan Bastian (28 percent) and Gary Bauer (16 percent).
In Legislative District 17, the Republican race for state senator shows Judy Peavey-Derr with a comfortable lead (59 percent) over Thomas Bullock (41 percent).
Ada County's vote counters have released results from 67 of the county's 145 precincts (that's more than 46 percent of the vote).
Among the races of note:
Dave Case continues to hold a lead over Sharon Ullman in the Republican race for Ada County Commissioner, Seat three. Case has 53 percent of the vote to Ullman's 46 percent.
Jim Tibbs holds a commanding lead (75 percent) in the other Republican race for Ada County Commissioner (Seat one).
Former Ada County Commissioner Fred Tilman is struggling in his Republican Race for Legislative District 22's House Seat B. Tilman (36 percent) is losing to Jason Monks (45 percent). Michael Law (13 percent) and Stephen Warren (4 percent) are trailing.
In Legislative District 19, the Democratic race for House Seat A shows Matthew Erpelding (52 percent) holding a comfortable lead over Troy Rohn (36 percent) and Dallas Gudgell (12 percent).
Also in District 19, the Democratic rate for House Seat B shows Holli High Woodings (54 percent) holding a lead over Brad Goodsell (41 percent) and Andy Edstrom (5 percent).
In another closely-watched race, the Republican runoff for House Seat 8 in Legislative District 8, incumbent Ken Roberts (45 percent) is holding a lead over challengers John Blattler (33 percent) and Dan Davis (22 percent) with 19 percent of the vote counted.
Returns are flowing in now. Ada County Board of Elections has pushed out results of more than 35 percent of the vote (that's 51 of the county's 145 precincts reporting).
In the hottest race of the evening, incumbent Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman continues to struggle against challenger Dave Case in the Republican race in the commission's third district. Case has 5,239 votes (54 percent) to Ullman's 4,474 votes (46 percent). The race was defined by two key factors: Case's endorsement from outgoing Commissioner Vern Bisterfeldt and Case's opposition to the controversial Dynamis waste-to-energy plant, which has been supported by Ullman.
Another ofFormer Ada County Commissioner Fred Tilman is running in the Republican race for Legislative District 22 House Seat B. Tilman is currently holding the narrowest of margins (40 percent) compared to Jason Monks' 39 percent, Michael Law's 15 percent and Stephen Warren's 4 percent. That one should be a squeaker.
Results are continuing to stream in from Ada County Board of Elections and more than a few people are keeping a very close eye on the Republican race for Ada County commissioner in the Third District. That's where incumbent Sharon Ullman is being challenged by Dave Case who carries the endorsement of outgoing Commissioner Vern Bisterfeldt.
With 28 Ada County precincts reporting (that's approximately 19 percent of the ballots that were cast), Case has garnered 3,806 votes (54 percent) to Ullman's 3,239 votes (46 percent).
In the other Republican race for county commissioner, Jim Tibbs is pulling away from the field. He currently is holding more than 74 percent of the vote.
In other races of note:
In Legislative District 18, the Democratic race for state senator has Branden Durst leading Matthew Duncan by a 3-1 margin.
In Legislative District 19, the Democratic race for House Seat A shows Mathew Erpelding with 49 percent of the vote, to Troy Rohn's 35 percent and Dallas Gudgell's 15 percent.
Also in District 19, the Democratic race for House Seat B shows Holli High Woodings with 51 percent to Brad Goodsell's 43 percent and Andy Edstrom's 6 percent.
In the Legislative District 14, the Republican race for state senator shows Marv Hagedorn with 55 percent of the vote to Stan Bastian's 27 percent and Gary Bauer's 18 percent.
In Legislative District 17, the Republican race for state senator shows Judy Peavey-Derr with 60 percent to Thomas Bullock's 40 percent.
Some early returns are coming in from the Ada County Board of Elections. These are all absentee ballots (6,234) which were cast in the days running up to Primary Day.
In the hotly contested three-man Democratic race in Legislative District 19 House Seat A, Mathew Erpelding has a three-vote edge over Troy Rohn with Dallas Gudgell trailing the two.
In the same district for the Democratic race for House Seat B, Brad Goodsell has an early 14-point lead over Holli High Woodings with Andy Edstrom trailing.
In Legislative District 14, the Republican race for state senator shows Marv Hagedorn with an early lead, holding a 2-1 lead over Stan Bastian with Gary Bauer trailing.
In Legislative District 22, the Republican race for House Seat B shows Fred Tilman in the early lead, edging Jason Monks by 50 votes with Michael Law and Stephen Warren trailing.
And in what is certain to be one of the most-watched races of the evening for Ada County commissioner, Dave Case is holding a nearly 300-vote lead over incumbent Sharon Ullman.
This should be a long night for those two.
The polls are now closed throughout Idaho (they have been closed for a full hour in the southern portion of the Gem State) so we should be seeing some early returns in a few minutes.
BW's team of reporters are tweeting like crazy @boiseweekly from both Democratic and Republican shindigs. Follow their reports, pics and videos and don't go too far from boiseweekly.com for the results.
BW's intrepid team of reporters are rubbing elbows with Idaho's political elite tonight, getting increasingly anxious about tonight's first returns from the Gem State's historic Primary Election.
In particular, Republicans are keeping their fingers crossed that their decision to close ranks and hold a GOP-only primary will strengthen their already considerable hold on the Statehouse. Democrats, meanwhile, are optimistic that the closed Republican primary will open up more middle ground for them to make new inroads at the legislature.
BW's team is tweeting up a storm @boiseweekly on everything from the political coattails of President Barack Obama's decision to publicly announce his support for gay marriage to a game over at the Republican party on who can bring in the largest sign (so far, Rep. Raul Labrador is winning hands down). FYI, BW's Andrew Crisp reports that a group of elementary school kids have been roped into dishing out Labrador stickers at tonight's shindig.
Check out their tweets, pics and videos @boiseweekly
Primary Night 2012 8 p.m.
The polls have closed throughout Southern Idaho but don't expect any early Primary Night results just yet. Because this is indeed a statewide election (even though the races are limited to precincts, legislative districts or counties) and the polls above the 45th parallel will be open for another hour, election officials have decided not to begin disclosing results until after 9 p.m. mountain time.
Workers at the Ada County Board of Election told Citydesk that they began counting absentee ballots at around 6 p.m., so they will have those numbers ready to go once the ballots start coming in from precincts across the Treasure Valley.
Voter turnout is reported to be very, very light. Some analysts are pointing to a number of factors, beginning with the Republican Party's closed primary, along with a cumbersome registration process and new polling places for thousands of registered voters.
Reporter Zach Hagadone, keeping a close eye on key North Idaho races for us tonight informs us that Kootenai County turnout was running about 26 percent, and Bonner County was reporting a dismal 12 percent thus far.
In perhaps today's most bizarre election news, one voting precinct in North Central Idaho's Nez Perce County had to be moved when a large quantity of dynamite was discovered in an old van parked nearby. Law enforcement said that the explosives and the vehicle had been sitting on the property for several years.
BW has a team of reporters spending the evening with a number of engaged voters and candidates to bring you alternative Primary Night coverage. You can follow their lively coverage throughout the evening on Twitter @boiseweekly.
Additionally, we'll be bringing you all the latest information right here at Citydesk.