Canyon County chooses new prosecutor; commissioners defeat Idaho GOP challengers

With all precincts reporting, former Adams County Prosecutor Chris Boyd is expected to become Canyon County’s next prosecuting attorney after defeating former state Rep. Greg Chaney in the hotly contested GOP primary race.

Canyon County voters also chose to advance their incumbent commissioners running for re-election to the November general election.

Primary election results Tuesday night showed Boyd secured 65.9% of the votes. Chaney conceded the race by phone to the Idaho Statesman and said he hoped for Boyd’s success as a prosecutor.

“His success is the success of the county,” he said.

Boyd didn’t respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

Boyd and Chaney ran in a high-profile race that drew endorsements from former and current Idaho attorneys general. Boyd will now advance to the November general election, where he will run uncontested.

Most Republicans in the county will run unopposed in the November general election; only one Democratic candidate is running in a Canyon County commissioner race.

On the ballot were races for Canyon County commissioner for Districts 1 and 3 and prosecuting attorney. In both commission races, incumbents sought another term, while Boyd will be new to the role. Prosecutor Bryan Taylor decided not to run for re-election.

Candidates challenging the Canyon County commission incumbents have been critical of the county’s budget increases under the current leadership. The three commissioners also came under fire recently after a prosecuting attorney said they were investigated earlier this year for an open meeting law violation and were accused of deliberating on a candidate for county clerk outside of a regularly scheduled public meeting.

For District 1, Leslie Van Beek, who is seeking her third term, led in the polls with half of the total votes. She faced two challengers: Pam Blacker Wagoner, a substitute teacher who has called out the sitting commissioners for giving themselves raises at the taxpayers’ expense, and Theresa Denham, a Middleton business consultant and real estate agent. Denham and Blacker Wagoner each had around 26% of the votes.

Van Beek’s campaign came under scrutiny when the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office announced she was under investigation for using the county’s print shop for campaign materials.

“I believe I’ve done a good job serving the citizens of Canyon County and to have their continued support and approval for the job that I’ve been doing as commissioner is amazing,” Van Beek told the Statesman by phone on Tuesday night.

District 3 incumbent seeks second term

For District 3, incumbent Zach Brooks led in the polls with 59.1% of the votes. His challenger, Richard Williams had 40.9%.

Brooks was first elected in 2022 after beating incumbent Pam White in the primary election and is now seeking his second term. He said in his Statesman Voter Guide answers that he wanted to continue the “good work and success” that the current board has started.

Van Beek was excited Tuesday night that Brooks also won his race.

“This is such a win for Canyon County citizens,” she said. “They put good leadership back into place.”

Brooks did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Williams owns a pizza and sandwich shop and said he’s concerned with county spending and property tax hikes.

The District 3 GOP primary winner will face Democrat Kyle Thompson in the general election. Thompson is running unopposed in the primary. The District 3 commissioner will serve a four-year term.

The commissioners make $112,360.

Prosecuting attorney race draws statewide attention

The race for Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney has drawn statewide attention, endorsements and dollars. It has become more high-profile than the two candidates were predicting, they recently told the Statesman.

Boyd, a former Adams County prosecuting attorney who rejected Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, was endorsed by Attorney General Raúl Labrador. Chaney, who has long been critical of extremism in the Idaho Republican Party, was endorsed by former Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

Boyd ran on a pro-law enforcement platform and was critical of Chaney’s “lack of experience prosecuting” crimes. Chaney, who is a private defense attorney, said his experience managing the lawyers in his office had prepared him to lead the Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecuting attorney will serve a four-year term, and Taylor makes $164,000 a year.

Nampa voters decide on transportation bond

A $38 million bond that would have funded a long list of traffic and roadway improvement projects within Nampa city limits didn’t secure enough votes despite having a majority of voters in favor of it.

A majority of voters, 56.7% approved the bond, but Idaho requires two-thirds of voters to approve bond measures.

The new bond was not expected to raise property taxes for Nampa residents but to keep taxes similar to the current rate citizens pay for an expiring bond, according to the city. The estimated cost per $100,000 of the taxable value of a residential home was $18. For a home with the average taxable value, it would equate to $40 to $50 per year, or about $3 to $4 per month.

The bond would have replaced another bond that is set to expire in August. The cost of the expiring bond is $19 per $100,000 of taxable value, according to the city.

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