In Twin Falls County, ID, 25.7% of people voted for Democrats in the last presidential election, 70.9% voted for the Republican Party, and the remaining 3.4% voted for other parties. The City of Twin Falls has a city manager style of government, where the city manager is hired by the City Council, all of which are elected by the voters. However, the mayor is not elected by the voters but by the City Council. The current mayor of Twin Falls, Suzanne Hawkins, likens it to a business model.
Over the past decade and a half, as conflict spread across North Africa and the Middle East, Twin Falls began to resettle a larger number of dark-skinned refugees who profess an unknown religion - two factors that make it difficult to live together in a city where 80% of the population is white. Trump's presidential campaign made Twin Falls a topic of daily debate on Bannon's national radio program, where he called it “the beating heart of everything that will revolve around the next presidential election.” The abundance of low-skilled, easy-to-find jobs made Twin Falls an attractive place for resettlement of refugees, who began arriving in the 1980s, mostly from Cambodia and former Yugoslavia. According to Twin Falls County Clerk Kristina Glascock, voter turnout in the city of Twin Falls is expected to be around 20%. On Monday, when Twin Falls ranked first in Drudge, the City Council held another weekly meeting.
On one hand, he knew from his own previous reports that no Syrians had been resettled in Twin Falls. Christy Zito, chair of the resolutions committee for the summer meeting, told Idaho Reports in an interview on Thursday that the resolution process is a way for the Idaho Republican Party to listen to its rank and file. Liyah Babayan, who is also running for position number 5, added: “The citizens of Twin Falls, if they want to see a different form of government and request or support that movement, the city council should respect it. Tracey Wasden, president of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women, told Idaho Reports on Thursday that she does not support the loss of her organization's vote among party leaders.
However, Gardner and Hawkins fight back by saying that cities the size of Twin Falls don't have the budget or resources to pay a full-time city council and mayor. Stranahan said that his publishers forced him to abandon the story of Twin Falls during the fall and suggested that they had done so under threat from Chobani. Since most of the government in Twin Falls is run by a city manager, these meetings usually deal with trivial issues such as watering lawns and potholes. But Brown immediately realized this was different.
Stranahan claims that his Breitbart publishers sent him to Twin Falls to report on the “Muslim takeover of the city”. However, at a recent forum of candidates for city councilors held at Eastside Baptist Church one of the questions attendees posed to candidates was their opinion about changing Twin Falls to a strong mayoral form of government. Thanks to its location, Twin Falls is home to important food processors such as Chobani Yogurt, Clif Bar and Glanbia Nutritionals - a dairy company. The story of Twin Falls aligned perfectly with Stephen Bannon's ideology - then director of Breitbart News - about ravages caused by uncontrolled immigration and Islam supported by interests of big business and establishment politicians.
Twin Falls County has been shaped by local issues over time - from immigration and resettlement policies to political debates over mayoral elections and government forms. In recent years these issues have been brought into sharp focus due to national attention on refugee resettlement policies and President Trump's campaign rhetoric about immigration and Islam. This has led to increased voter turnout in local elections as well as debates over how best to govern cities like Twin Falls with limited resources.