Election Central

Ada County’s McGrane entering crowded campaign with free BBQ

Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane will announce his bid to replace retiring Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse.

McGrane, a competitive barbecue chef, will be offering something unusual: free barbecue provided by Spuds BBQ Co. The public is invited.

In a media advisory, McGrane listed a campaign organization rich with county officials, including his boss, Ada County Clerk Chris Rich.

The May 20 GOP primary already includes Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, who was removed from his post as House speaker a year ago by the GOP caucus. Sen. Mitch Toryanski, a former Idaho deputy attorney general who served one term in the Legislature before losing a narrow race in his southeast Boise district in 2012, has appointed a campaign treasurer but not yet formally announced.

Democratic Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise has said she too is considering the race.

McGrane has been Rich’s lieutenant on election issues, helping implement the new closed GOP primary and changes in ballot-counting technology. Ysursa, also a Republican, will retire after 12 years as secretary and 40 years in the secretary’s office. Ysursa — who has clashed with Denney about the closed primary and legislative redistricting — has not ruled out making an endorsement in the race.

In addition to Rich, McGrane has three other campaign co-chairs: Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto, Twin Falls County Clerk Kristina Glascock and Cassia County Clerk Joe Larsen.

All three Ada County commissioners — Dave Case, Jim Tibbs and Rick Yzaguirre — are on McGrane’s campaign committee, as are Prosecutor Greg Bower, Treasurer Vicky McIntyre and Assessor Bob McQuade.

Other county officials on the McGrane Committee: Fremont County Clerk Abbie Mace, Payette County Clerk Betty Dressen, Boundary County Clerk Glenda Poston, Idaho County Clerk Kathy Ackerman and Camas County Clerk Korri Blodgett.



Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics