November 7, 2018: What to Know 

click to enlarge Idaho Governor-elect Brad Little - COLLEGE OF IDAHO
  • College of Idaho
  • Idaho Governor-elect Brad Little
  • A record number of Ada County voters showed up at the polls in Tuesday's midterm election, part of statewide and national trend that saw unprecedented voter engagement. Idaho's next governor will be Brad Little, who led a Republican slate of candidates who were all successful in their respective contests for statewide office. Republican Janice McGeachin will become Idaho's first female Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra won a tight contest with Democratic challenger Cindy Wilson.

  • The most-anticipated Gem State contest of the evening wasn't even close: A majority of Idaho voters said "yes" to Medicaid expansion, thumbing a collective nose to the Idaho Legislature which has repeatedly pushed back any previous attempt to expand Medicaid to cover tens of thousands of uninsured men, women and children. The other high-profile statewide proposition, an effort to return gambling machines to horse racing venues, went down to defeat following a bruising point/counterpoint media blitz from both sides.

  • click to enlarge STEVE BERCH
    • Steve Berch
    At the Idaho State Statehouse, a few Democrats were successful in upsetting incumbent Republican lawmakers in the Idaho House and Senate. In Boise's 15th legislative district, Democrat Steve Berch upended veteran Republican House Rep. Lynn Luker, and Democrat Jake Ellis defeated Republican House Rep. Patrick McDonald. In that same district's State Senate race, incumbent Republican Sen. Fred Martin was leading Democratic challenger Jim Bratnober by just a handful of votes, which will most probably trigger an official recount. In the Wood River Valley, Democrat Muffy Davis handily defeated Republican House Rep. Steve Miller; and in Eastern Idaho, Democratic challenger Chris Abernathy beat Republican House Rep. Dustin Manwaring.

  • click to enlarge DIANA LACHIONO
    • Diana Lachiono
    Big change will be coming to the Ada County Commission in 2019: two Democratic women won their respective races Tuesday night: Diana Lachiondo defeated Republican incumbent Commissioner Jim Tibbs; and Democrat Kendra Kenyon defeated Republican Sharon Ullman. At the Ada County Highway District, incumbent Paul Woods lost to challenger Mary May and incumbent ACHD Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe held off three challengers.

  • Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson handily won reelection to the U.S. House, and he'll be joined by Republican Russ Fulcher who won his race to see who would take over the vacated seat of outgoing Congressman Raul Labrador. On the national level, Democrats gained control of the U.S. House and several governerships, but Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate.
  • Billionaire Bill Gates wants to build better, cheaper toilets. The New York Times reports that the Microsoft co-founder was in China this morning, opening an exhibition that featured innovative approaches to helping the billions of people who have no access to safe sanitation.

  • CNN reports that a woman who spent about $29 million at Harrods department store in London, is in custody and faces deportation. It turns out that she's the wife of a jailed state banker in Azerbaijan, charged with fraud and embezzlement.

  • Alec Baldwin is having a rather terrible week. First, he was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor following a New York City parking lot altercation. Now, The Hollywood Reporter says Baldwin's ABC talk show, which has been getting horrible ratings, will be shifted to Saturday nights beginning in December. Saturday night prime time is unofficially known as a graveyard. Simply put, that's where networks dump their soon-to-be-canceled shows.

  • Collins Dictionary is out with its "word of the year" for 2018, and this year's winner is "single-use." NPR reports that Collins says there has been a four-fold increase in the usage of "single-use" since 2013, thanks in large part to news coverage of environmental issues.
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