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Idaho Republican voters appear poised to oust incumbent Superintendent of Education

Candidates Branden Durst, Debbie Critchfield and Sherri Ybarra
Aaron Kunz | Idaho Public Television
Candidates for Idaho Superintendent of Education Branden Durst, Debbie Critchfield and Sherri Ybarra

Debbie Critchfield is poised to become Idaho’s next superintendent of education. Critchfield, the former president of Idaho’s Board of Education, took 43 percent of Republican votes during the primary according to preliminary results. She’s expected to easily win the November general election.

Critchfield defeated incumbent Sherri Ybarra and former state legislator Brandon Durst. Ybarra faced criticism on how Idaho's public schools handled the pandemic.

Critchfield is a former public information officer for the Cassia County school district, as well as a former substitute teacher and GED instructor.

Incumbent Lawrence Wasden is now trailing challenger Raúl Labrador in the Republican Attorney General primary.
Preliminary Idaho election results show that Wasden took 44.6 percent of the Republican primary votes. Raúl Labrador, a former Congressmen, state legislator and lobbyist, took 46.1 percent and Arthur Macomber of Coeur d'Alene took about 9 percent of of votes as of 10:15 p.m.

Labrador has argued that the attorney general should be a more political position, and said Wasden should have joined a lawsuit that attempted to overturn the 2020 election.

Wasden has worked in the Attorney General’s Office since 1989 and has been elected to the position five times. During the race Wasden was criticized for an opinion he authored saying the enforcement mechanism on Idaho’s most recent abortion ban is likely unconstitutional. Wasden has responded that he’s a conservative who represents everyone and is focused on following the Constitution.

Republican Phil McGrane will likely be Idaho’s next top election official. Primary Election night results show the Ada County Clerk was leading with about 50 percent of Republican votes. He defeated Representative Dorothy Moon and Senator Mary Souza. Moon took 35 percent of votes and Souza, who is from Coeur d'Alene, took 14 percent of votes. McGrane will move on to the November general election where he is expected to win a majority of the state.

McGrane has worked in elections since 2005 and has said he’s focused on building trust in the state’s voting systems. He is endorsed by sitting Idaho Governor Brad Little, and is the only candidate for secretary state who has publicly acknowledged President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.