Woodward, Scott claim GOP legislative nods

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SANDPOINT — With the final numbers of Tuesday's primary election coming through just before 3 a.m., the legislative candidates were still digesting the news on Wednesday.

On the Republican ballot to replace Shawn Keough as District 1 state senator, Jim Woodward came out on top with 3,462 votes. Danielle Ahrens and Scott Herndon garnered 1,677 and 1,654 votes respectively. Vera Gadman ran unopposed for District 1 senate on the Democratic ballot with a total of 1,311 votes.

"I'd like to thank all my supporters and express to everyone in the district that I am here to listen and carry ideas forward," Woodward said in an email to the Daily Bee on Wednesday. "I appreciate that so many friends, business associates, and acquaintances offered so much in the way of endorsements, campaign contributions, and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals. I would especially like to thank all of my family and a few extraordinary mentors who have been there for all of this effort.

Herndon, who said he only entered the race in February, also expressed his thanks to the voters who supported him. 

"It was really only at the first forums in April that very many people got a chance to become familiar with me and my platform," Herndon said in an email to the Daily Bee. "So, in five or six weeks, our team made a lot of good progress getting voters to know us, and I am pleased that our message of constitutional conservatism resonated with so many in our district in so short a time.

"It was a very enjoyable personal experience to get to know so many voters along the way and hear about their concerns for the district and the state of Idaho. It was also a great opportunity to challenge myself by running for political office — it is something that in my life I had never considered doing prior to this election, but I have come to see the importance of government in our lives, and more importantly, our involvement in our government. We truly get a better, more representative government the more we engage in the process, and every voter really matters. Together, we really can make a lot of progress toward republican, constitutional, limited and proper government and preservation of our inalienable individual rights to life, liberty and property."

While Ahrens did not respond to a request for comment as of deadline, she did post the following statement on social media Wednesday: "The winner of the Republican senate primary race in District 1 is my opponent Jim Woodward. I would like to congratulate him on a well run race and I look forward to supporting him and the other Republicans that won their primary races. Thank you to all of my friends and supporters you were amazing and I couldn't have done it without you."

In the contest for the 1A state representative seat, incumbent Heather Scott took the lead over Mike Boeck on the Republican ballot with 4,104 votes to his 2,968.

"I just want to thank all my great supporters," Boeck said in an email to the Daily Bee on Wednesday. "They never lost faith and I appreciate it."

Scott did not respond to a request for comment as of deadline.

Bob Vickaryous and Ellen Weissman vied for the Democratic nomination for 1A state representative, with Weissman taking the lead with 1,472 votes over Vickaryous' 153 votes.

"I am very excited," Weissman said Wednesday. "I am grateful to Bob Vickaryous for entering the race, because it allowed me an opportunity to fully engage in the forum ...  I am grateful to him to provide me with an opponent, because I learned so much. I look forward to engaging with Heather in future months."

Vickaryous said on Wednesday that he would like to congratulate Weissman on her win in the primary election.

Republican incumbent Sage Dixon and Democratic nominee Stephen Howlett both ran unopposed in the 1B state representative race, with 5,411 and 1,319 votes respectively.

Incumbents Priscilla Giddings and Paul Shepherd came out on top in the District 7 races for state representatives. In a three-way race on the Republican ballot for 7A state representative, Giddings took the lead with 3,125 votes. Candidates Ryan Lawrence and Shannon McMillan had 1,276 and 1,165 votes respectively.

"It has been an honor to serve and I look forward to two more years," Giddings said in an email to the Daily Bee. "This primary election revealed a lot about what voters want for the future of Idaho. First thing in 2019, I look forward to voting for the elimination of the grocery tax on food."

"I would like to thank all my supporters that came out and voted for me in the primary," Lawrence said in message to the Daily Bee on Wednesday. "While it did not go the way we planned, I am grateful for every single one you. I look forward to seeing what Giddings does as our representative over her next term and I will not stop advocating for the residents of District 7 and Idaho and encourage the Legislature to enact positive conservative policy changes that will benefit all Idahoans."

Phil Hart vied with Shepherd for the 7B state representative seat, with Shepherd coming out on top with 3,197 votes to Hart's 2,253 votes. 

Hart, Shepard, and McMillan had not responded to a request for comment as of deadline.

There were no candidates on the Democratic ballot for 7A or 7B state representatives. No Democratic candidates appeared on the ballot for District 7 state senator as well, and Carl Crabtree ran unopposed on the Republican ballot with 855 votes.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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