Many of my friends and acquaintances have asked for my help to sort through the rhetoric and flood of advertisements in this year’s governor and lieutenant governor races. I have not taken an active role in any of these campaigns, however I have reached an informed opinion. I know and have worked with most of the candidates. I am generally persuaded by the body of work/experience in an elected office or community service.
Obviously in the primary, candidates need to show how well this fits into the party platform. All Republican primary candidates are touting their conservative credentials while some are also under the influence of narrow political groups outside the party.
More obvious in the legislative campaigns, candidates claim to be looking out for the “people.” However, they are often unable to deviate from the policy positions of political organizations, fearing the loss of an endorsement rather than the will of “the people.” Their literature doesn’t disclose the strong ties some have to these organizations.
The Republican Party is a bigger tent than organizations like the John Birch Society’s, We the People, the Idaho Republican Liberty Caucus and the Idaho Freedom Foundation. These groups each have some good ideas, but they also have high expectations that candidates follow a strict sub-platform. These narrow sub-platforms do not fit well with the broader demands of a governor or lieutenant governor.
I believe that Brad Little is the gubernatorial candidate who can best lead and manage the complexities of state government. For lieutenant governor — Steve Yates who held the party together following the failed 2014 convention chaired by Raul Labrador — is the best choice to provide steady, professional and balanced leadership.
Get to know all the candidates and vote on Tuesday, May 15.