Progressives Maureen Laflin, Anne Zabala and Sandra Kelly defeated their three conservative counterparts handily Tuesday night for the three open Moscow City Council seats.

Laflin was the leading vote-getter with 4,379 votes (24.7 percent); followed by Zabala with 4,288 (24.1 percent); Kelly with 4,172 (23.5 percent); Brandon Mitchell with 1,670 (9.4 percent); James Urquidez with 1,648 votes (9.3 percent); and Kelsey Berends with 1,605 (9 percent), according to the final unofficial results Tuesday night.

The results will be canvassed next week.

Kelly said she was extremely humbled, thankful and excited to be elected and happy that Laflin and Zabala, the race’s only incumbent, were chosen as well.

“Obviously the three of us really sort of aligned together,” said Kelly, office manager at Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute. “I think we ran our own campaigns, which was great, but we also came together when we needed to. So I’m really, really happy for the both of them.”

Kelly, who was watching television at home in her pajamas with her mother and dog as the results trickled in, said she was happy with the voter turnout, too.

“We knew it was going to be a tight election,” she said. “We really worked super hard the last, you know, 14 days and I’m just thankful for all the Moscow voters that really took it to heart and came out and voted.”

Laflin, a longtime University of Idaho College of Law faculty member, said she was “ecstatic” to win.

“I think that overall, campaigning has been an incredibly fun experience for me and what I appreciate is that everybody participated in the forums, everybody was civil with each other,” said Laflin, who watched the results come in at home with her campaign team. “There was not a lot of animosity between the various candidates, and we all held our own different views and I appreciated that a lot.”

Zabala, executive director of the nonprofit organization Backyard Harvest, also said the voter turnout — reported as almost 45 percent of registered voters — was incredible.

“It’s really exciting to win and to have such a strong showing from the Moscow community,” said Zabala, who watched the results Tuesday night with supporters at One World Cafe.

The three women will join Art Bettge, Brandy Sullivan and Gina Taruscio on the council. Councilors Kathryn Bonzo and Jim Boland decided not to run for reelection.

Laflin told the Daily News in October that housing, accessibility for people of all mobility levels and smart and sustainable growth are her key priorities.

Zabala said water is her primary concern.

“The future of Moscow is dependent on identifying an alternative water source,” she said.

Kelly said ensuring a continued vibrant downtown, that incoming businesses use smart energy and addressing water issues are some of her focuses.


Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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