Winder's Out of Mayor's Race

Boise is "too Democratic"

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Chuck Winder now says he's not going to run again for the office of Boise Mayor. He ran unsuccessfully in a four-person race in 2003.

His decision not to run again leaves Mayor Dave Bieter with just one Republican opponent so far, City Councilman Jim Tibbs. Winder said he has yet to pick one over the other.

Winder told BW today he has a lot going on at his real estate business, but that the recent Democratic upsets in legislative seats also affected his decision.

"Boise's changed," Winder said. "The Democrats have done a good job here."

In the recent legislative elections, Democrats picked up a number of new seats across Boise, surprising the Republican Party, which holds a majority of the Legislature as well as all the statewide offices.

Candidates insist until they're blue in the fact that municipal elections are non-partisan. But, as most political junkies know, getting your party in control of the state's largest city means a lot. The parties are keeping score.

Winder knows this as well as anyone. He took a long, hard look at the precinct-by-precinct numbers after the last election. In the key Democratic precincts, he said, Democrats got their voters to the polls by much larger margins than Republicans did in theirs.

"Somebody's going to have to work real hard to get the non-Democratic Party folks to the polls," Winder said. "The Republicans are going to have to get engaged."

Tibbs, the former Idaho Drug Czar, now has the support of his former boss. Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch told BW last week that he was supporting Tibbs. Although there are no other Republicans in the race so far, support like Risch's could keep some Republicans from wanting to get into the race against Tibbs.

For now, Winder said he's looking forward to watching the Tibbs-Bieter race.

"There are two good candidates," Winder said. "It's two home town boys going to duke it out, and it's going to be a good race."

Boise resident Mike Murphy, 44, is also running.