2023 Election

The environment is our issue

Announcing our 2023 endorsements


Like you, all of us here at Conservation Voters for Idaho share a deep passion for protecting Idaho’s environment and, like you, we know that the best chance we have in that endeavor is to elect strong conservation champions to office.

We’ve endorsed 18 candidates in several Idaho municipal races, candidates who have served as consistent partners in advocating for conservation policy and demonstrate the expertise, commitment, and political know-how to succeed.

Boise voters: we have provided information on all candidates – including our endorsements – who are running for office in the Boise area. Click to view and download the Boise Voter Guide.

2023 Endorsements (Click to View)

Boise Endorsements

Lauren McLean, Boise Mayor

Mayor Lauren McLean

Candidate for Boise Mayor (incumbent)
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Mayor Lauren McLean has been a conservation champion  since she established the Foothills Open Space Levy campaign in 2001 — protecting thousands of acres in the foothills for future generations. She also has been steadily working toward her goal of making sure every family is within a 10 minute walk of a park. These programs help protect Boise’s open spaces for generations to come, regardless of the priorities of future Boise mayors.
McLean has also been a leader in bringing new businesses and new jobs into the valley while supporting existing ones, providing housing options for all Boiseans, and supporting new transportation options — like the work she is doing to reconnect the passenger railway to Boise.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, McLean has worked to ensure all Boiseans have homes within their price range. She led the City Council in unanimously passing new zoning policies that allow additional gentle density in existing neighborhoods, including ADUs, triplexes and quad-plexes. She has also created public/private partnerships that have resulted in homes that are affordable for all Boise residents and used federal funding to prevent evictions. 
Over the last year, her staff at the City of Boise have moved 45 families into homes, with 200 additional families slated to move into units currently under construction. The city is on track to build 1,100 affordable homes by 2026.
Colin Nash, Boise City Council

City Council Member Colin Nash

Candidate for Boise City Council District 2 (incumbent)
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Since being appointed to Boise City Council in April 2023, Colin Nash has fought to improve multi-modal transportation, increase tree canopy and protect Boise’s open spaces. He played an instrumental role in passing Boise’s Modern Zoning Code. 
Nash has also served as the representative for District 16B in the Idaho State House since 2020. During his time in the Idaho Legislature, Nash helped pass a historic investment in Idaho’s public lands, and helped fund efforts that support farmers and help conserve water across the state. 
If re-elected, he will continue working with Mayor McLean to increase the number of parks in West Boise and make all Boiseans within a 10 minute walk of a park. He will also continue his collaborative efforts to improve the Emerald Lane overpass to help people cross over the Boise connector safely, and create a connector pedestrian overpass at Liberty St.
Jordan Morales, Boise City Council

Jordan Morales

Candidate for Boise City Council District 4
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Jordan Morales is the department manager for Boise State University’s Computer Science Department. Morales has been heavily involved as a volunteer in finding ways for all Boiseans to be able to afford housing. That led him to support the Boise Zoning Code Rewrite, which passed unanimously earlier this year. 
If elected, Morales will work to improve access to public transportation on major corridors in his district — like Vista Avenue — increase the number of walking paths and safe biking lanes, and protect the city’s open spaces. He will continue working to find policies that increase the kinds of housing in the city, so every family can afford a home. Another of his commitments is to make progress in ensuring all families have access to affordable childcare.
Meredith Stead, Boise City Council

City Council Member Meredith Stead

Candidate for Boise City Council District 5 (incumbent)
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Meredith Stead was appointed to Boise City Council on Aug. 10 to fill a vacancy left by former Council President Holli Woodings. Before that, Stead served on the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission since 2018. During that time, she worked to protect Boise’s open spaces, create walkable neighborhoods, and provide Boiseans with a variety of housing options. Stead also supported the passage of Boise’s Modern Zoning Code. 
If re-elected, she has committed to continue her work investing in pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, and valley-wide mass transit. She will also continue protecting our natural resources, open spaces, water, and air with smart investments and conservation policy, and fighting for every Boisean’s access to equal and consistent city amenities including parks, transportation, connectivity, and emergency services.
Jimmy Hallyburton, Boise City Council (1)

City Council President
Jimmy Hallyburton

Unopposed Candidate for Boise City Council District 6 (incumbent)
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Even before being elected in 2019, Hallyburton was a conservation champion that helped make Boise a safer place to walk and bike. On City Council, Hallyburton led the efforts to construct and form the Pathways Master Plan, 112 miles of off-street walking and biking paths that connect the city of Boise. He was also instrumental in helping pass the Modern Zoning Code, and helped add multiple new provisions that will lead to a more sustainable and affordable future. In addition, Hallyburton has worked to make trails and playgrounds more accessible so everyone in Boise can enjoy outdoor spaces safely and conveniently.

Meridian Endorsement

Liz Strader, Boise City Council

City Council Member Elizabeth Strader

Candidate for Boise City Council District 2 (incumbent)
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In 2020, Strader utilized her background in finance and business to write a Clean Energy Resolution that established a commitment to fiscally responsible environmental stewardship. After its passage, that resolution has led to impactful local solutions, such as a cost-saving conversion to LED street lights, a biosolids drying facility to reduce trips to the landfill, and the capture of biogas at the wastewater treatment plant to repurpose it as fuel in the city of Meridian. These are solutions that protect Meridian’s clean air and water while saving taxpayer dollars.

Caldwell Endorsement

Becky Mitchell, Caldwell City Council

Becky Mitchell

Candidate for Caldwell City Council District 4
As the 2018 Idaho Teacher of the Year, Becky Mitchell learned the value of her voice and was inspired to run for office to continue to make a difference for future generations. Becky is an Environmental Science teacher, and will bring that strong understanding of conservation to the Caldwell City Council. If elected, she will prioritize education, business, and services for seniors.

Garden City Endorsements

Hannah Ball, Garden City City Council

Hannah Ball

Candidate for Garden City City Council
Hannah loves Garden City and has shown that passion by participating in and organizing multiple community events, including river clean-ups and a farmers market. If elected to City Council, Hannah would find ways to increase public input in decision making, work on Greenbelt maintenance and long term planning, support a healthy river, and make Garden City safer and more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.
Kent Rasmussen, Garden City City Council

Kent Rasmussen

Candidate for Garden City City Council
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As a Planning and Zoning Commissioner for Garden City, Kent has been an advocate for additional housing and increased safe mobility options. If elected to City Council, he intends to be a strong advocate for sidewalks, bike paths, public transit, and other safe transportation options. Kent will also be a strong supporter of clean, abundant, and cheap energy.

Bellevue Endorsement

Chris Johnson, Bellevue Mayor

Mayor Chris Johnson

Candidate for Bellevue Mayor (incumbent)
Johnson was appointed Bellevue Mayor earlier this year after being elected to Bellevue City Council in 2021. He has worked to protect the Blaine County watershed and open spaces. He also worked to enact the Blaine County Sustainability Program, and partnered with the agriculture community to further sustainable agricultural practices.

Ketchum Endorsements

Michael David, Ketchum City Council (1)

Michael David

Candidate for Ketchum City Council (incumbent)
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Michael David was first elected to Ketchum City Council first in 2012. Throughout his service on the City Council, he has worked to increase funding of Mountain Rides Transportation Authority to expand commuter times buses and to support the complete transition to electric buses before 2030.  He has also improved walking paths and worked to increase affordable housing opportunities in Ketchum, as well as assisting in the creation of the Warm Springs Preserve restoration project. 
If reelected, he will continue to find ways to reduce energy consumption, reduce pollution, and provide residents with more affordable housing and transportation options.
Tripp Hutchinson, Ketchum City Council (1)

Tripp Hutchinson

Candidate for Ketchum City Council
Hutchinson is a former staff member in the Housing Department of the city of Ketchum and volunteer firefighter. If elected, he will work to protect Ketchum’s outdoors by making sure hillsides are protected from excessive development, and work to enact additional flood prevention and habitat protection policies.

Hailey Endorsement

Dustin Stone, Hailey City Council (1)

Dustin Stone

Candidate for Hailey City Council
Dustin Stone was appointed to the Hailey Planning & Zoning Commission in 2020. During his time on the commission, he focused on reducing the amount of water being consumed by new developments and advocated for more housing types, including more affordable units. He has also partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to build new trail systems near Hailey. He served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before joining the POWER Engineers team as an electrical engineer.

Sun Valley Endorsement

Jane Conard, Sun Valley City Council (1)

City Council President Jane Conard

Candidate for Sun Valley City Council (incumbent)


Jane Conard is the current Sun Valley City Council President, seeking re-election. She has worked to balance growth, by improving the quality and safety of walking and biking paths and working to improve access and usage of open spaces. She has also advocated to increase funding of Mountain Rides and help the fleet transition to 100% electric vehicles. If elected, Jane Conard will continue to preserve outdoor spaces, improve transit, and find solutions to the housing problems.

Pocatello Endorsement

Hayden Paulsen, Pocatello City Council

Hayden Paulsen

Candidate for Pocatello City Council
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Hayden grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and skiing across Idaho, and would bring those conservation values to the Pocatello City Council. He is a strong supporter of clean energy, open space, and improved pathways. If elected, Hayden will prioritize returning the right to public comments, support better and more transparent zoning decisions, and advocate for more efficient uses of public funds.

Idaho Falls Endorsement

John Radford, Idaho Falls City Council (1)

City Council Member John Radford

Candidate for Idaho Falls City Council (incumbent)
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Since being elected, John Radford has worked to save parks, begun work on a canopy project, and elevated public green spaces as untouchable. Supported a brand-new public park on the Snake River Heritage park.  I work to make our city walkable and we have passed a resolution for a carbon free power company that is run by our city. If reelected, Radford will continue his work to plant 100,000 trees, and to work to restore our storm water creeks that were abandoned with irrigators. Restoring Williow Creek would be a sportsman’s dream and help our water and canopy of trees.

Moscow Endorsement

Bryce Blankenship, Moscow City Council

Bryce Blankenship

Candidate for Moscow City Council
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Bryce is the Senior Instructor of Philosophy at University of Idaho and is passionate about the protection of wild lands and the environment. As an experienced educator and Moscow Mentor, he would bring his ability to listen, learn, advocate, and communicate to the City Council. If elected, he will prioritize management of the Palouse basin aquifer and critical infrastructure work for the Moscow-Pullman airport and downtown revitalization.

Sandpoint Endorsement

Kate McAllister, Sandpoint Mayor

City Council President Kate McAlister

Candidate for Sandpoint Mayor
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Kate McAlister is the current City Council President of the Sandpoint City Council. If elected to mayor, she will continue to work to protect the Sandpoint watershed, advocate for infrastructure improvements, support small business owners and continue to lead on affordable housing.

About Our Endorsement Process

To ensure Conservation Voters for Idaho endorses the best possible conservation candidates, our volunteer Board of Directors with staff support conduct a multi-step review process and criteria for selection. 

Candidates are evaluated along the following criteria: knowledge of conservation issues, potential effectiveness to advance conservation issues if/when elected to office and propensity to be a true champion on our issues. “Best” conservation candidates are not just those candidates who represent themselves as the most pro-environment, but who will best advance the effort to protect Idaho’s environment. As a bipartisan organization, we select candidates regardless of political party. 

Our endorsement begins at the staff level where campaign staff distribute questionnaires to candidates across the state. All candidates are invited to participate in the process and fill out the questionnaire. Questionnaire responses are evaluated by our Endorsement Task Force, which is composed of select members of the Conservation Voters for Idaho Board of Directors and supported by staff. If the task force needs further clarification from the questionnaire responses, follow up activities occur which could include in-person interviews or reference checks.

Based on the questionnaire responses, the personal interview, candidate’s platforms on conservation issues and other criteria guidelines listed above, the Endorsement Task Force votes on their endorsement recommendations. Those approved recommendations are then taken to Conservation Voters for Idaho’s Board of Directors for a final vote.

For more information, click here.

Election Day is November 7, 2023

Are you prepared to vote? Visit our Voting Resources to ensure your registration is up-to-date, how to vote early, and more.