Ada County candidates spar over alleged campaign violation — and some signs come down

As the May major election approaches, the campaign of Clyde Dornier — one of many candidates for Ada County commissioner — has gone after incumbent Commissioner Ryan Davidson for his use of campaign yard signs from final election.

In two complaints and information releases in as many weeks, Dornier’s campaign accused Davidson of violating Idaho campaign finance guidelines by reusing campaign signs from the 2020 election. The signs say they had been paid for by a PAC known as Conservative Citizens for Thoughtful Growth, which supported Davidson in 2020 however has endorsed Dornier within the 2024 election, in accordance with the releases.

The PAC garnered consideration within the 2020 county elections, when it ran assault adverts towards then-county commissioner Diana Lachiondo, a Democrat; and the 2021 municipal elections, when it ran adverts towards then-Boise City Council Member Lisa Sánchez, the Idaho Statesman beforehand reported. The PAC is chaired by Dan Richter, basic supervisor of the Avimor deliberate group in Eagle’s Foothills.

Commissioner Ryan Davidson, left, and Clyde Dornier are vying for an Ada County Commissioner seat in the Republican primary on May 21. Sarah Cutler/Photos providedCommissioner Ryan Davidson, left, and Clyde Dornier are vying for an Ada County Commissioner seat in the Republican primary on May 21. Sarah Cutler/Photos provided

Commissioner Ryan Davidson, left, and Clyde Dornier are vying for an Ada County Commissioner seat within the Republican major on May 21. Sarah Cutler/Photos supplied

The Ada County Clerk’s Office responded to the grievance by asking Davidson to talk with the political motion committee to discover a “mutually agreeable solution” and resolve the problem by final Friday, April 26. After back-and-forth, Davidson reached an settlement with the committee to take away the offending signs by Tuesday, Nicole Camarda, the county clerk’s workplace’s advertising and marketing and communications specialist, instructed the Statesman by way of electronic mail.

After Dornier’s first grievance, Davidson instructed the Statesman that he didn’t notice he couldn’t reuse the signs, one thing candidates usually do to save cash. He mentioned he wasn’t conscious the PAC had endorsed Dornier and known as the priority about an previous PAC endorsement “new territory,” including that he had by no means heard of it arising earlier than.

“I was just going based on common sense,” he mentioned.

On Monday, Dornier’s campaign filed a second grievance with the clerk’s workplace, saying Davidson had failed to fulfill Friday’s deadline to take away the signs. In a information launch, the campaign requested for the Secretary of State’s workplace to analyze.

“Despite the initial complaint and the given deadline, most of the original yard signs are still present, and Ryan Davidson’s campaign has distributed more illegal yard signs,” the information launch mentioned. “This blatant disregard for the law undeniably and illegally benefits the Davidson campaign, which is a serious violation of the election process.”

On Tuesday, Davidson’s campaign Facebook page posted a request for supporters to take down the signs “due to some various campaign technicalities.”

Barrett Tetlow, Dornier’s campaign marketing consultant, instructed the Statesman by electronic mail that he nonetheless noticed “many of the signs” up on a drive across the county Wednesday afternoon.

After the primary grievance was filed, Davidson instructed the Statesman he was pissed off that Dornier’s campaign didn’t first method him immediately about its considerations, calling the complaints a “dirty campaign tactic.”

Davidson instructed the Statesman after the second grievance that he spoke weeks in the past with Tyler Hurst, the PAC’s government director, and didn’t obtain “any indication that there would be an issue” with reusing the signs till the final couple of weeks.

“I’ll be as charitable as I can and say that there was a misunderstanding,” Davidson mentioned.

Hurst didn’t instantly reply Wednesday to a cellphone name requesting remark.

An electronic mail Dornier’s campaign shared with the Statesman confirmed that the county clerk’s workplace forwarded the campaign’s second grievance to the Secretary of State’s Office “for review,” however an electronic mail from the clerk’s workplace to the Statesman urged the problem had been resolved as of Monday.

“We consider this matter now closed,” Camarda wrote.

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