- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An unsuccessful Republican candidate for the Idaho Senate is formally contesting the election results in Bannock County.

Tom Katsilometes - not the longtime county commissioner and current state tax commissioner by that name, but a cousin — lost to new Sen. Mark Nye, a Democrat from Pocatello.

Katsilometes filed a formal challenge with the Senate on Thursday; the body received it without comment during an organizational session, The Spokesman-Review reported (https://goo.gl/Ke1lqY ).

Katsilometes says Nye violated campaign finance laws, though a complaint he filed earlier to the Idaho secretary of state’s office was dismissed. He also says Bannock County made errors “in counting or in declaring the result of the election” and that the county’s vote tabulation machines “were not properly prepared and certified.”

Nye, who received 48 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Katsilometes, called it sour grapes and “an attack on the very good city clerks and county clerks.”

“He is challenging the entire Bannock County vote - the process and the way it was counted,” Nye said, “which would affect the vote for the president down to the bottom. He has tried this before, about a year ago, on a city election, and lost.”

He added: “I’m being sworn in to be the senator, and we won this fair and square. I look forward to being the senator, somebody that’s going to fight for Pocatello and help the people of the state.”

Under the Idaho Constitution, the Senate is the judge in the case of a formal contest of Senate election results, not the courts. Discovery related to the complaint will be compiled before the end of the year for consideration after the legislative session begins in January. The process hasn’t been used since 1980.

Nye served one term in the House from the same district, District 29, before winning the Senate seat in November. It was previously held by Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, who retired.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com

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