December 1, 2021 (Cover Photo Credit: City of Pocatello)
Last night, incumbent Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad won his fourth term in a runoff election against opponent and first-time candidate for office David Worley. With 100% of precincts reporting, the unofficial vote count shows that Blad received 6174 of the 11,092 ballots cast (55.71%) against Worley’s 4909 votes (44.29%).
Blad won the night on the early vote. Of the 3374 votes that were cast early, Blad had over a 1300 vote advantage, receiving 2341 of these votes against Worley’s 1033.
Tax bills, just received by Pocatello residents, may have been a factor in the election night returns favoring Worley, but the shock that many residents expressed over property tax increases was not nearly enough to overcome the early vote totals. Of 7709 votes cast on election day, Worley barely edged out Blad, 3876 to 3833.
Blad’s victory almost certainly guarantees a continuation of his policies. With the City Council split evenly between Blad’s allies (Linda Leeuwrik, Rick Cheatum, and Josh Mansfield) and those pushing back against the direction he is steering Pocatello (Roger Bray, Claudia Ortega, and Chris Stevens), Blad’s tiebreaking vote will allow him to further his agenda for the next two years, and beyond.