This story will be continually updated as results come into our newsroom. Unless otherwise stated, all results are unofficial.
For the first time in 15 years, the City of Boise has a new mayor: Lauren McLean.
Incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter called McLean to congratulate her on the election results, conceding the race.
McLean addresses her supporters after the phone call.https://t.co/mSoRkxlWjG— 6 On Your Side (@IdahoOnYourSide) December 4, 2019
Neither candidate received more than 50 percent plus one of the votes during November's general election. Last week, the Ada County Elections Office held it's pre-election logic and accuracy test making sure the ballots will be properly read and tabulated by the elections software.
Both candidates spent the past month campaigning, meeting face to face for a Q & A with Boise's homeless population at emergency shelter Interfaith Sanctuary.
A topic that drew some contention at that Q & A was the camping ordinance and the mayor’s request to the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision rejecting the city's ban on people sleeping in public places.
“We are making progress again with New Path, with Valor Pointe, with Catch -- with programs for, across the board, for the homeless. But in the meantime we can’t have camps because it undermines everything that we’re working on," said Bieter.
McLean was on the council back in 2015 when the city evacuated encampments on Cooper Court.
"I truly believe that we can prevent encampments without writing those tickets," said McLean.
Bieter took over the office mayor from City council member Carolyn Terteling-Payne back in 2003. Terteling-Payne was appointed to serve until the end of the year when Brent Coles resigned as mayor amidst scandal after the Idaho Attorney General filed two corruption charges against him in a scandal that rocked City Hall. Coles also threw his hit into the mayoral race this year, but lost in the General Election on November 5.
David Bieter--15,998 (34.5%)
Lauren McLean--30,306 (65.5%)
Meanwhile, in Caldwell, John McGee has won the race for Caldwell City Council Seat 6.
The City of Caldwell announced the runoff election for Caldwell City Council, Seat 6 back in November after a question was raised over what constitutes the majority needed to win.
The Canyon County Elections Office initially decided that no runoff was required, based on Idaho Code 50-412, which states "the candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.” Under Caldwell City Code, members of the city council will be elected by a "majority of the qualified electors as established by Idaho code."
The issue? The code didn't define what a majority is.
The Secretary of State's Office and the Office of the Idaho Attorney General gave input to this original decision, reading the applicable ordinance and statutes to mean that a Caldwell City Council candidate has to receive more than 50% of all votes in order to win the election.
In past races for Caldwell City Council, candidates have taken office after receiving less than 50% of the vote. The City Attorney's Office has stated that because those candidates took office in good faith under previous application of City Code, that they hold their offices legitimately.
McGee said he's grateful for the opportunity to serve.
"They want to talk about Caldwell's future and what we are going to continue to do for the future of Caldwell," he said. "Hanna and I are just really humble and grateful that they elected us in such overwhelming fashion."
6 On Your Side originally reported that John McGee had won the seat with 39.24% of the vote in the November 5 General Election, but because of the confusion, he faced off against Evangeline Beechler for a runoff election.
Beechler's campaign released a statement in response to McGee's win, which reads:
"We set out to have conversations with neighbors in every corner of Caldwell and we were successful. We wanted to stay focused on the residents of this great city and we were successful in elevating issues and voices that are often ignored or cast aside. I implore Mr. McGee to listen to the needs and wishes for every Caldwell resident. No matter their political beliefs, affiliations or ideologies; every person in this city deserves to have their voice heard by those elected to represent them. We also hope that Mr. McGee will honor the second chance that the majority of voters who participated in this runoff, have given him. We urge him to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to best represent those who live here, those who have been harmed by this election, and those who currently do not feel safe with his return to elected leadership. I owe a debt of gratitude to the volunteers and supporters who made this campaign the people-powered campaign it was. I want to thank my family, friends, neighbors and every single person who cast a ballot for me tonight, your trust is a responsibility I will carry daily and cherish."
Former Idaho attorney general David Leroy claimed the runoff election for Caldwell City Council is illegal, but even so, his client, John McGee said he wouldn't fight for his victory in court.
Here's the breakdown of the votes for Caldwell City Council Seat 6 (100% of Precincts reporting):
Evangeline Beechler--1,340 (39.27%)
John McGee--2,072 (60.73%)