Elliot Werk

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Elliot Werk
Elliot Werk.jpg
Idaho State Senate District 17
In office
2002 - Present
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 12
Base salary$16,438/year
Per diem$122/day outside Boise, $49/day otherwise
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2002
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sSonoma State University
Place of birthMontréal, Canada
ProfessionSmall Business Owner
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Elliot Werk is a Democratic member of the Idaho State Senate, representing District 17 and serving as the Assistant Senate Minority Leader. He was first elected to the chamber in 2002.

Werk earned his B.S. in Geology from Sonoma State University. His professional experience includes owning a small business and working as an environmental consultant.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Werk served on the following committees:

Idaho Committee Assignments, 2013
Judiciary and Rules
Local Government and Taxation
State Affairs
Joint Legislative Oversight


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Werk served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Werk served on these committees:


Campaign themes


Werk's campaign website highlihgted the following campaign themes:[1]

  • Ethics Reform
Excerpt: "I place ethics first because the people have lost faith in their government. Without fundamental ethics reform there is no trust that the actions of state government are intended for the benefit of the people."
  • Public Education
Excerpt: "Rather than slashing an already anemic budget, Idaho leaders must look for every opportunity to improve schools to attract business. The state is starving public schools by leaving millions uncollected from tax cheats and from special interest tax exemptions."
  • Jobs and the Economy
Excerpt: "With a paper thin high tech industry we are exposed to the whims of the global marketplace. Our colleges are slashed and the brain drain from Idaho is noticeable."
  • Quality of Life
Excerpt: "Healthy air quality, good traffic flow, managed development that enhances our neighborhoods, low crime rates and keeping gangs at bay, good roads, and community-based treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues can help to preserve our quality of life."
  • Taxes
Excerpt: "We must reduce property taxes for homeowners and seniors - not special interests. This means an increase in the Homeowner's Exemption to $150,000. I have sponsored bills to accomplish this since 2007 and will continue my efforts."

Bicycling Laws

During the 2010 legislative session, Werk proposed some changes to the rules of the road involving bicycles. His changes included drivers to give three feet of space as they pass around bicycles, adding a $75 fine to drivers who heckle bicyclists, adding an additional $75 penalty to the person at fault in any traffic incident involving a bicycle, and requirements that cyclists have brakes and not dart into crosswalks.[2]

"Right now, the rules of the road are kind of a bit fuzzy," Werk said during a Senate committee on his proposed legislation.[3] Werk regularly rides his bicycle to the Idaho State Capitol during the legislative session.[4]

None of Werk's legislation was approved by the Idaho Legislature, though the brake requirement passed the Idaho Senate.[5]



See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Idaho State Senate will take place in 2014. A primary election took place May 20, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 14, 2014. Incumbent Elliot Werk was unopposed in the Democratic primary and is unchallenged in the general election.[6][7][8]


See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2012

Werk won election in the 2012 election for Idaho State Senate District 17. Werk ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 15 and defeated Judy M. Peavey-Derr (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[9][10]

Idaho State Senate, District 17, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElliot Werk Incumbent 62.9% 10,150
     Republican Judy M. Peavey-Derr 37.1% 5,980
Total Votes 16,130


See also: Idaho State Senate elections, 2010

Werk had no opposition in the May 25 primary. He ran against Lucas V. Baumbach in the general election on November 2, 2010, defeating him.[11]

Idaho State Senate, District 17 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Elliot Werk (D) 5,665 60.6%
Lucas V. Baumbach (R) 3,689 39.4%


On November 4, 2008, Democrat Elliot Werk won re-election to the Idaho State Senate, District 17 receiving 10,120 votes, ahead of Republican T. Allen Hoover (5,183).[12]

Idaho State Senate, District 17 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Elliot Werk (D) 10,120 66.1%
T. Allen Hoover (R) 5,183 33.9%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Werk is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Werk raised a total of $269,142 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 30, 2013.[13]

Elliot Werk's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $56,673
2010 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $39,850
2008 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $32,859
2006 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $39,180
2004 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $70,926
2002 Idaho State Senate, District 17 Won $29,654
Grand Total Raised $269,142


Werk won re-election to the Idaho State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Werk raised a total of $56,673.
Idaho State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Elliot Werk's campaign in 2012
Friedman, Robert H$1,500
Emerald Dental Associates$1,425
Palmer, Kyle$1,300
Beaver, Craig W$1,200
Carter, Bill$1,000
Total Raised in 2012$56,673
Source:Follow the Money


In 2010, Werk received $39,850 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[14]

Idaho State Senate 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Elliot Werk's campaign in 2010
Idaho Education Association$2,000
Idaho Democratic Legislative Caucus$2,000
Professional Fire Fighters Of Idaho$1,500
Anderson, David & Debra$1,000
Emerald Dental Associates PC$800
Total Raised in 2010 $39,850


In 2008, Werk collected $32,859 in donations.[15]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Idaho Power Co. $2,000
Palmer, Kyle L & Jill $1,000
Idaho Education Association $1,000
Idaho Healthcare Association $1,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Idaho

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Idaho scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the Idaho State Legislature was in session from January 7 through April 4.[16]

Legislators are scored on their votes on bills "impacting economic freedom in the state."


In 2012, the Idaho State Legislature was in session from January 9 through March 29.[17]

Legislators are scored on their stances on conservative issues.

Idaho Freedom Index

See also: Idaho Freedom Index

The Idaho Freedom Foundation, an Idaho-based, nonprofit educational research institute, released its "Idaho Freedom Index" in 2013. The index intended to show how Idaho legislators voted on the principles the Foundation seeks to promote. It measured each state legislator based on two tiers, which include whether legislators voted for or against bills that would create or eliminate government agencies, programs, and regulations, and bills that would impact the free market in a positive or negative way. Scores ranged from the highest possible score for members of the state Senate (194 points) and for members of the state House (180 points). A higher score indicated that the legislator voted more in favor of the values supported by the Foundation.[18] Werk received a score of -88 points in the 2013 index, ranking 35th out of 35 members of the Idaho State Senate that were evaluated for the study.


Werk and his wife, Nancy, have one child.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Idaho State Senate District 17
Succeeded by