Controversial Boise County commissioner resigns, Gov. Little appoints GOP replacement

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One of Boise County’s commissioners has resigned, a news release from the office of Idaho Gov. Brad Little revealed Tuesday.

Boise County District 2 Commissioner Robert Ted Holmes was supposed to hold office until January.

Holmes resigned because was moving out of Idaho, said Boise County Republican Precinct Chairwoman Betty Jean Mollenkopf. County commissioners must live in the area they are elected to govern. Boise County Clerk Mary Prisco confirmed Holmes had purchased a home in Vale, Oregon.

Boise County District 1 Commissioner Steven Twilegar said Holmes had left on good terms for personal reasons, but declined to specify further.

Holmes gave a verbal resignation on May 24, according to the board meeting minutes. He said he had already spoken to the county’s prosecuting attorney. Prisco said Holmes had not given a written resignation as of Tuesday afternoon. His final board meeting on Tuesday, according to Twilegar.

Little announced in the release that he had appointed someone to fill the seat: Clay Tucker. Tucker already won the Republican primary election for the seat with 40% of the vote in May. He is set to run unopposed in November.

Holmes did not run for reelection this year, citing his wife’s cancer.

“She’s not doing very well and family comes first,” Holmes said at a meet-and-greet in April, according to video footage of that event.

The Board of Commissioners holds meetings in the county seat of Idaho City, but District 2 covers the areas of Garden Valley and Lowman.

Robert Holmes has resigned from the Boise County Board of Commissioners.
Robert Holmes has resigned from the Boise County Board of Commissioners.

Holmes’ time in office had notable controversies, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting. He fought COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Boise County; was accused of threatening to take a 13-year-old boy’s dirt bike for riding near his property; made questionable remarks about white supremacy; questioned a county emergency medical technician about whether military personnel assigned to a U.S. base had undergone gender-reassignment surgery; and allegedly intimidated another employee while wearing a holstered pistol in the office.

Per Idaho Code, Boise County Republicans submitted their choice of three candidates to fill Holmes’ spot, and the governor made the final selection. Marla Lawson and Rick Aspirl were the other two candidates. In the primary, Lawson received 22% of the vote and Aspirl received 18%.

Mollenkopf wrote in a letter to the governor that, considering the primary results, it “made little sense” to choose anyone other than Tucker.

Twilegar said he is looking forward to Tucker joining the board on July 1.

“(His family) has been in the county for generations,” Twilegar said. “He knows the county inside and out. I’m looking forward to working with him. I get along with him personally, and I think he’s pretty smart guy.”

Holmes did not return the Idaho Statesman’s requests for comment.

Idaho Statesman reporter Ian Stevenson contributed to this story.