City Cast

What to Know About Mayor, City Council Races to Vote in Boise

Blake Hunter
Blake Hunter
Posted on November 6
Here's how to get your sticker. (Getty)

Here's how to get your sticker. (Getty)

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, and there’s been a lot to keep track of in Boise elections. Here’s a last-minute breakdown of who and what will be on the ballot, and how you can vote.

What You Need to Vote

  • Find your voting place here. It’ll be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Voters can present a photo ID, like a driver’s license, state ID, tribal ID, passport, or concealed weapons license. If voters don’t present an ID, they can sign an affidavit with their name and address.
  • Check if you’re registered to vote here.
  • If you’re registered to vote at the address on your ID, just bring your ID!
  • If you aren’t, or your ID doesn’t match your current address, bring proof of your residence (like a proof of insurance, utility bill, or bank statement) to your polling place, where you can get registered.
  • To know exactly what you’re voting on, use this sample ballot tool.
Find your polling place and sample ballot via the Ada County Elections website. (Ada County)

Find your polling place and sample ballot via the Ada County Elections website. (Ada County)

The Race for Boise Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Lauren McLean faces a challenge from former police chief Mike Masterson, whose campaign is backed by McLean’s predecessor, Dave Bieter.

Joe Evans and Aaron Reis (read his profile from BoiseDev) are also running, and have added additional perspectives to this campaign season. But neither are likely to win enough votes to contend for the office, although they could pull enough to send the McLean-Masterson race into a runoff election, if neither wins 50% of the vote.

McLean and Masterson have each worked for the city for over a decade, but have very different perspectives on the next steps for Boise.

McLean touts the zoning code rewrite, which was completed in her first term, as a collaborative step to address Boise’s lack of affordable housing. With a background in environmental work, she aims to expand the city’s pathways system and get all residents within a ten minute walk of a park.

Masterson has criticized McLean’s first term, saying she has mishandled the city’s police department and excluded neighborhoods from the zoning code rewrite discussion. He presents a more conservative choice for voters, but has also won the endorsement of several local former Democratic politicians.

Boiseans are about to have district-specific representation on City Council for the first time. (City of Boise)

Boiseans are about to have district-specific representation on City Council for the first time. (City of Boise)

Who’s Running for City Council?

No matter who wins, four out of six Boise City Council members are about to be elected for the first time.

This is also the first time Boise is voting for council members by district, thanks to a new state law requiring cities with over 100,000 residents to do so. Nampa and Meridian are also over that benchmark and voting by district.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the candidates, district-by-district. But here’s a shorter version.

Both District 1 incumbent Luci Willits and District 6 incumbent Jimmy Hallyburton are unopposed, so there will be no City Council election in those districts.

District 2

Former Democratic legislators Colin Nash and Grant Burgoyne are facing off to represent the West Bench and Winstead. Nash was selected to fill a vacancy on the council earlier this year, but this is his first time on the municipal portion of the ballot. They’re opposed by lawyer Hillary Smith, a more conservative candidate, and Jesse Gonzalez, who has not raised any campaign money.

District 3

There are four candidates for southwest Boise and Central Bench voters, with no clear frontrunner yet: Chris Blanchard, Kathy Corless, Josh Johnston, and Theresa Vawter.

Boise State Public Radio’s George Prentice and I agreed that Districts 2 and 3 are the most important ones to watch.


District 4

South and southeast Boise has seen a tepid race, with only one candidate actively campaigning: Jordan Morales, a department manager at Boise State University. He has one opponent, Janet Burke, who hasn’t reported any campaign donors except herself.

District 5

Lastly, two candidates are vying to represent voters in much of downtown, the East End, and some of the North End. Both Meredith Stead and Jeremy Gugino have campaigned for left-leaning causes for years, though Stead was picked for two weighty endorsements: the Conservation Voters for Idaho, and the Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.

What Else is on the Ballot?

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