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Ada County Prosecutor

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  • Candidate picture

    Johnathan Baldauf

  • Candidate picture

    Jan Bennetts

Biographical Information

1. What are the most important challenges facing your county and how do you propose to address them?

2. What specific qualifications do you have to effectively address these challenges?

3. How will you continue to be engaged with your constituents?

Campaign Phone (208)629-0845
Facebook page
The Ada County Prosecutor's Office's most pressing challenge is ensuring that its cases are resolved in the most fair and efficient manner possible and that the public trusts and understands the decisions made by that office.

The current office loses 40% of felony trials and 80-90% of misdemeanor trials. This is a direct result of decisions made by the leadership of that office. From failing to ensure that victims feel heard, not being proactive in communicating with deputies and law enforcement, and minimizing the amount of discretion line prosecutors have, my opponent has made it difficult for those on the front lines to succeed in delivering justice in Ada County.

We address those issues by treating victims with respect and doing everything in our power to make sure that their medical and mental health needs come first. The Office should also make sure that there is constant communication between law enforcement and prosecutors.
I am a small business owner who works in family law and criminal defense. That broad experience has given me direct contact with people suffering through addiction and withdrawal and with victims of domestic violence and stalking. During law school, I trained in a prosecutor's office and an attorney general's office. Prior to law school, I served as a guardian ad litem with children in child protection cases through Family Advocates and interned with the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, where I connected those in need of counsel with pro bono counsel.

I will commit to working with community members and law enforcement to ensure that Ada County's growth through 500,000 residents is handled in a manner that keeps our citizens safe without becoming a significant tax burden. An office can be aggressive without overwhelming its staff and the courts with so many cases that the conviction rate becomes so low.
A prosecutor's office cannot succeed without the trust of the public. It is vital that this office be trusted because the criminal justice system affects so many: 30% of Americans will be arrested by age 23. Therefore, I will make transparency and openness central tenets of my office. Many people are not sure what a prosecutor does, so we will begin with open houses to build accessibility and communication channels to the public. The people expect and deserve timeliness and accountability from their government officials and I will make that happen

The current office was forced to pay attorney's fees to the Idaho Press Club because they refused to provide documents to reporters. A court found that my opponent’s office’s approach was "troubling." A Critical Incident Task Force report involving an officer-involved shooting from June 2023 took nine months to resolve.

Additionally, we will need to coordinate with providers and the public to ensure we have sufficient treatment options.
Campaign Phone (208)602-2055
As the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney, I am responsible for handling all felony prosecutions within Ada County and misdemeanors in multiple local jurisdictions, as well as providing civil legal support to Ada County elected officials and departments. Our community is not immune to the challenges presented by our rapid growth, particularly in the civil and criminal divisions. My approach to managing the workload and resource demands involves attracting and retaining a high-caliber team dedicated to serving our community. My record underscores my dedication to safeguarding our community by fostering strong partnerships with stakeholders and providing the highest quality of civil legal services to Ada County.
Since 1994 when I began my career as a deputy prosecutor, I have handled a wide variety of criminal prosecutions from child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault to robbery and homicide cases. I have held various leadership positions in my office and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Ada County Victim Center, which provides essential resources and services to vulnerable crime victims since 2006. The partners who are co-located at the Victim Center assist victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse and stalking. Having dedicated nearly thirty years to keeping my community safe and having successfully led my team of approximately 180 people for nearly ten years as the Ada County Prosecutor, I am uniquely qualified to meet any challenge.
In addition to my community speaking engagements, I have expanded my efforts to engage with the community on a broader level. In order to accomplish improved community outreach and engagement, I hired a public information officer several years ago. This has allowed me to share information about our office, the role of the prosecutor, case outcomes and the work we are doing for our community. I have increased our presence through social media and other community engagement efforts, such as law student internships, job shadows for students, and speaking about the role of the prosecutor from middle school to law school. Other examples include hosting the 4-H Know Your Government students as they learn about all branches of government. By combining direct interaction with educational initiatives and transparent communication, we have significantly strengthened our relationship with Ada County constituents, building trust and accountability within the community.