CALDWELL, Idaho — Days before early voting opens up for Caldwell City Council Seat 6 runoff, former Republican Idaho Gov. Butch Otter endorsed John McGee. For Evangeline Beechler, who's also running in the nonpartisan race, the former governor's endorsement for her opponent doesn't phase her.
Otter, who is a Caldwell native, waded into the runoff election on Sunday with his endorsement of McGee.
"I think it says a lot when the former governor of the state comes out and actively says this is the person you should elect Caldwell," McGee said.
Beechler spoke candidly with KTVB about what she thinks of Otter's endorsement of her opponent.
"Well, I didn't hear that governor otter moved to Caldwell, I have been knocking on doors and haven't talked to him yet," she said.
Since the election is nonpartisan, she's not concerned with how much the former governor's endorsement will mean to voters and how it will impact the election.
"It's really interesting to me, for someone who that keeps pushing local races or nonpartisan he sure has a strange way of showing it," Beechler said. "This race is about the people of Caldwell, our neighbors, and what their needs are, that has been the focus of our campaign and it will continue to be as we move forward."
McGee says the Democratic Party has been involved in this election already, so Otter's endorsement makes clear which candidate is conservative.
"Unfortunately, the Democrats have been really involved in this race and so I think its important distinctions are drawn between the two candidates, there is one who is a conservative and one who is a liberal and I think Governor Otter's endorsement kind of points that out," he said.
McGee was originally declared the winner of the city council race in the November election, getting 39% of the vote, while Beechler received 31% and the third candidate, Charles Stadick, got 30%.
However, a runoff election was called by Caldwell city officials after public outcry stated no candidate received the majority of the vote. Caldwell election statutes mandate that a city council candidate must receive at least 50% plus one vote in order to win.
The runoff election is set for Tuesday, Dec. 3.