Ybarra Wins Idaho Schools Chief Race By Fewer Than 6,000 Votes

Nov 5, 2014

Sherri Ybarra will become Idaho's next superintendent of schools.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

As expected, the closest statewide race of Idaho's 2014 election was for superintendent of public instruction. Unofficially, Republican Sherri Ybarra won with 50.7 percent of the vote to Democrat Jana Jones' 49.3 percent. Just 5,700 votes separated the two candidates.

Ybarra won despite several campaign missteps, including copying language from her opponent's website, and voting records showing she hasn't voted in 15 of the last 17 elections.

A county-by-county look at the vote tallies show Ybarra carried 35 of Idaho's 44 counties. The nine counties Jones took include the most populous in the state, Ada, where she won 58.6 percent of the vote.

This interactive map shows in teal the counties Ybarra won, and the counties Jones carried in orange. You can click around the counties to see the vote breakdown.

Data: Idaho Sec. of State | Map: Emilie Ritter Saunders

Idaho Education News reports Ybarra plans to job-shadow current schools chief Tom Luna before she takes his spot in January.

“First I want to thank my family for standing by my side and for all of their love and support. I want to give a huge thank you to all of my supporters in Idaho for the most humbling experience of my career and life. I am honored and proud because they have entrusted me with the position of ‘chief of schools’ and I will do everything I can to defend that trust. I also want to thank my opponent for her hard work running a statewide campaign. It isn’t easy, so thank you Jana Jones.  I am excited about moving education forward for Idaho’s students.” - Sherri Ybarra said in a written statement

Idaho Education News reports Jones "raised and spent more money on the race than Ybarra. Through late October, Jones reported spending $101,790 to Ybarra’s $31,880."

This is the second time Jones has been defeated in a campaign for public schools chief. She lost to Tom Luna by a slim margin in 2006.

Find Emilie Ritter Saunders on Twitter @emiliersaunders

Correction: We originally stated Ybarra won 34 of 44 counties, Ybarra won 35 counties, according to the unofficial vote tallies.

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio