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Conservative-backed candidates win Treasure Valley school board elections

Conservative candidates won all available seats up for election in West Ada and Nampa school district board elections Tuesday.

IDAHO, USA — West Ada School District voters elected Angela Redford and Lori Frasure to the state's largest school board on Tuesday's election.

While the election is said to be non-partisan, both were backed by conservatives, which appears to be an impact from a growing interest in school board meetings among Republican voters who've taken issue with mask mandates and potential curriculum - such as critical race theory.

"With School Board election, it's just usually not as much focus, right?" Boise State Associate Political Science Professor Jaclyn Kettler tol KTVB on Wednesday. "The combination between the pandemic and the focus on a lot of issue like critical race theory have really highlighted and brought to the forefront issues about public education."

The support for Redford and Frasure started long before voters entered the booth. According to campaign financial disclosure reports made available on the Secretary of State website, Frasure's campaign raised $20,667 while Redford raised $11,641.

Looking at campaign contributors, 75% percent of the money raised for these campaigns came from individual donors.

"They were all just enthusiastic about getting another voice on the board," Redford said. "That's really what it was all about."

Compared to their opponent, Brent Hart and Anita Beckman's campaigns combined for just a little over $2,000 - making for a massive discrepancy between funding. Redford said this shows how frustrated parents were with their school board.

"During COVID there's been a lot of struggles with mask mandates that seems to not really reflect what the community wanted," Frasure said.

Conservative-backed candidates also swept the Nampa School Board election Tuesday. The three seats were won by Jeff Kirkman, Brook Taylor and Tracey Pearson - each gaining at least 63% of the vote.

"I'll be really interested to see if these issues were seeing in these school board elections and school trustee elections continue to pay or a role or whether the issues agenda shifts and it doesn't play as big of a role in 2022," Kettler said.

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