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Idaho Falls re-elects incumbent city council members

East Idaho Elects

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IDAHO FALLS — All three incumbents will keep their seats on the Idaho Falls City Council after Tuesday’s municipal election.

Lisa Burtenshaw got 69% of the 7,920 votes in the race against Sandra Hokanson. Burtenshaw has been on the city council six months after being appointed to fulfill a vacancy on the council.

“I love this city and I feel honored to serve on the Idaho Falls city council,” Burtenshaw said in a statement to “I want to thank everyone who supported me throughout this campaign. Especially my husband Bryce and our children. We live in an era when people label themselves and others regularly. This can be dangerous because labels represent only a small piece of who we are, or can misrepresent us entirely. I believe keeping municipal elections nonpartisan requires us to think deeply both as candidates and electors. I’m excited to move forward with the Mayor and city council to face the challenges rapid growth is bringing to our city.”

Jim Francis defeated Robert Mark Thompson with 57% of the 8,009 votes. The longtime Idaho Falls history teacher will begin serving his second term on the city council. He was also elected in 2017.

“I certainly thank all the people who worked so hard to make this win possible,” Francis said. “The work of four years begins now. We have problems to resolve and planning to complete and implement.”

Jim Freeman won with 60% of the 7,967 votes against Karie Caldwell. The former Idaho Falls Fire captain was elected to the city council in 2017.

Caldwell, Thompson and Hokanson received backing from the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee. While the county GOP did not endorse the candidates in the non-partisian race, they did provide financial assistance in their campaign. Party chair Mark Fuller previously told the three candidates best fit the views of the party.

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Flyers slamming Freeman, Francis and Burtenshaw were distributed across town in the week leading up to the election. The flyers possibly violated election campaigning laws as they did not say who distributed them and the information was passed over to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

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Freeman could not be reached for comment. We will update this story if we receive their response.