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Clifford defeats Traubel in Ada County Sheriff GOP primary

Dayley wins commissioner race; Arnold nominated for assessor.

BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

Ada County voters chose Matt Clifford to be the Republican nominee for sheriff in Tuesday night's Idaho primary.

Clifford, who was appointed Ada County Sheriff in the summer of 2021, defeated challenger Doug Traubel with 65.6% of the vote. He'll face Democrat Victor McCraw in the November election.

"I have a lot of backing with the Fraternal Order of Police, Ada County Sheriff's employee association, all the Republican mayors in Ada County," Clifford said Tuesday night. "I've been working really hard during this campaign."

Clifford raised almost $35,000 more than Traubel leading up to Tuesday's primary.

He was appointed sheriff after former sheriff Steve Bartlett resigned on Memorial Day. Traubel drew headlines last year for antisemitic comments and questioning rape victim data.

On election night, Clifford said the Idaho Republican Party's split had affected the primary.

"I think a lot of far-right extremists have attached themselves to this race and not in my favor," Clifford said.

Traubel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dayley edges Ullman in commissioner race

Tom Dayley narrowly beat Sharon Ullman in the Republican primary for Ada County's District 3 commissioner seat.

Dayley garnered 38.1% of the vote to Ullman's 36.3%. Dawn Retzlaff was third with 25.6%. Ullman told the Idaho Press on Tuesday night she ultimately conceded to Dayley.

Dayley will face Democrat Patricia Nilsson and Independent Anthony (Tony) Jones in the general election.

"I hope to be the winner, but the key is we will have a strong candidate in the fall," Dayley said Tuesday night.

The commissioner and sheriff races, in some ways, are inextricably linked. Current District 3 Commissioner Kendra Kenyon announced earlier this year she would not seek a second term. Kenyon, a Democrat, cited growing hostility, including verbal threats from supporters of Traubel’s previous bid for Ada County sheriff, according to reporting from BoiseDev.

Retzlaff, a former homicide detective, raised $23,000, slightly more than the $20,000 raised by Ullman, a former commissioner; and nearly double the $12,000 raised by Dayley, a three-time state representative. However, Retzlaff also had dozens more donors than the other two candidates.

Ullman has faced criticism from when she previously was on the board, for her role in an ill-fated contract with Eagle-based Dynamis Energy LLC. The county gave $2 million to the company to design a waste-to-energy plant, but Dynamis found itself the subject of a lawsuit, an investigation by a former FBI agent and opposition from local residents. Ullman said the project was misrepresented and got a bad reputation.

Retzlaff declined to comment.

Arnold hangs on to win assessor race

Rebecca Arnold defeated three other Republicans to win the party's nomination for Ada County assessor.

Arnold's 35.1% beat Dave Lister's 31.3%.

Longtime Ada County Assessor Bob McQuade is retiring.

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

More Idaho Primary Election results here.

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