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CALDWELL — Keri Smith was sworn in as District 2 Canyon County commissioner, making up an all-women board for the first time in county history, according to multiple county officials.

Smith was formerly the CEO of Destination Caldwell, the organization that runs the operations of Indian Creek Plaza; she also worked for the city of Caldwell and Canyon County.

“It was a crazy time running for county commissioner during a pandemic, and I watched how local government really impacts our communities,” Smith said during her swearing in ceremony on Monday. “I am so excited about the opportunity to serve and make a difference.”

She was sworn into her board seat in the commissioner’s public meeting room, surrounded by a small group of family. The gathering was kept small due to COVID-19 concerns and its spread throughout the county.

Smith said she was excited to work with returning commissioners Pam White and Leslie Van Beek.

“We are going to do incredible things,” she said.

Van Beek also was sworn in Monday after winning reelection for her District 1 board seat. She faced two challengers in the Republican primary, John Hess and Mike Pullin, and won with 57%.

Smith received 35% of the vote in the four-way Republican primary race, beating out Greenleaf Mayor Brad Holton, former Caldwell City Councilman Chuck Stadick, and former Middleton City Councilman Loni Parry.

Neither faced an opponent in the general election.

Van Beek thanked former Commissioner Tom Dale, who retired from a long career of public service. He served as county commissioner and mayor of Nampa.

Smith also thanked Dale, saying, “You have been incredible for Canyon County, and I want to thank you for your service and what you have done for us.”

Following the swearing-in, the board elected Smith as board chairwoman and Van Beek as vice chairwoman. White, who was the former chairwoman, was the sole dissenting vote against Smith’s taking over the chair.

Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue and county Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor, who both won reelection last year, were also sworn in Monday.

Rachel Spacek is the Latino Affairs and Canyon County reporter for the Idaho Press. You can reach her at Follow her on twitter @RachelSpacek.

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