A Look at the 2021 Municipal Election: From the Desk of CVI Executive Director


This summer, due to the continuing impacts of climate change, Idahoans everywhere experienced record heat waves, wildfires, and ongoing smoky skies. 2021 underscored just how important elections are to protecting our quality of life here in Idaho, making last night’s local elections as crucial as ever. 

Despite negative attack ads attempting to spread lies and divisiveness, voters in Boise, Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Blaine County resoundingly chose to support candidates whose values reflect what is important to us and what makes Idaho so special. You chose truth over lies; real leadership over scare tactics. And you chose to support the candidates who ran on the platform of protecting our clean air and water, our parks, trails, farmland and open space. 

Too often, we hear about Idaho’s reputation for extremism. We make the news for the loudest voices expressing values that are not truly representative of us. Today, we woke up to know that in local elections, the ones that can have the greatest effect on our daily lives, we chose to support forward-looking, pro-conservation leadership. 

This astounding win for conservation is because of people like you, who got involved, donated, volunteered to get out the vote, and cast your vote to elect pro-conservation candidates. Yesterday’s election results helped secure pro-conservation candidates in some of Idaho’s most populous counties and legislative districts. 

Full List of Elected Champions

Boise City Council- District 3Lisa Sanchez
Boise City Council- District 5Holli Woodings
Bellevue City CouncilKathryn Goldman
Bellevue City CouncilChris Johnson
Hailey City Council, Seat 1Heidi Husbands
Hailey City Council, Seat 2Kaz Thea
Idaho Falls City Council, Seat 4Jim Francis
Idaho Falls City Council, Seat 6Jim Freeman
Idaho Falls MayorRebecca Casper
Ketchum City CouncilAmanda Breen
Ketchum City CouncilCourtney Hamilton
Pocatello City Council, Seat 5Linda Leeuwrik

More Insights

Some of our election highlights include our conservation champions Councilmembers Lisa Sanchez and Holli Woodings winning in Boise in an first-of-its-kind districted election, even in the face of ugly campaigning and attack ads. We saw a repeat of 2020 when outside funders, like those who supported Ryan Davidson’s campaign for Ada County Commissioner tried to leverage the new geographic districts, which meant many Boiseans didn’t get a say in city council races, to spread mistruths and lies to take over. Thankfully, they were unsuccessful in spite of the large amounts of money they dumped into the races. 

In addition to the city council wins, Boise voters were asked to vote on the question of using a water renewal bond to help fund necessary improvements to the city’s wastewater infrastructure. Boiseans responded to the water bond with a resounding “yes”, securing the city’s opportunity to upgrade services and infrastructure and keep sewer rates affordable and predictable for years to come- and it passed overwhelmingly with 80% of Boiseans in favor. 

Over in Idaho Falls, our three candidates, Mayor Rebecca Casper, Councilman Jim Francis and Councilman Jim Freeman overcame underhanded, maybe even illegal campaign activity, that moved in the last few days. Our conservation candidates in Blaine County won across the board, demonstrating the ongoing strength of conservation and climate action values in the Wood River Valley. In Canyon County, Jarom Wagoner is heading into a runoff against disgraced past legislator John McGee ahead by over 22 points for Caldwell Mayor. 

By the Numbers

With the encouragement and support from our 17,000 members, Conservation Voters for Idaho ensured conservation remained at the top of Idahoans’ priorities for the 2021 municipal election.

In total, Conservation Voters for Idaho’s Action Fund spent more than $20,000 on independent expenditures and coordinated campaign activities. Together, we completed the following direct voter engagement strategies in the municipal election:

Total Voter Contact by strategies: 

  • Mail reached 35,743 voters
  • Digital reached 53,202 voters
  • Phones: Over 5,500 voters called
  • Total Voter Contacts this cycle: 94,441

I’d like to congratulate all of the hard-working candidates. We know that all your conversations with voters have helped make our community and our state a better place and advanced our conservation issues.

And, of course, I’d like to thank all of you for casting your vote for conservation, and continuing to support Conservation Voters for Idaho.