I have greatly enjoyed getting to know the people of Idaho's legislative District 16, as I walked through neighborhoods and attended various events. I thank the Idaho Statesman editorial board for the opportunity to share my story with voters.
As a young boy, growing up in rural Idaho, I learned the value of hard work. My dad ran a successful farm, raising cattle and growing sugar beets. I saw the fruits of his labor, and those who worked the land. Sitting around the breakfast table one morning, something caught my ear. Dad was grumbling about having to pay too many taxes. Although I did not understand the bigger picture, I wondered aloud about how I could change this, and make things better for my family. You could become the president, my dad encouraged. The seed was planted. I aspired from that moment to be the change I wanted to see.
Today, I have grown up a bit. Along with my wife, Seana, I am raising a family in uncertain economic times. I have always believed that education is the key to a bright future. I hold two graduate degrees in accountancy and public administration. Still, I have struggled to find work. Seana is a teacher in the Boise schools. We are deeply committed to providing the best educational opportunities for our children, now aged 2 and 4. I want them to dream big. I want them to see their dreams come alive.
Serving in public office has always been my dream. If elected, I will be a voice for the people of Boise and Garden City in the GOP caucus. I will advocate for children and families. I will support legislation that restores hope to those who sacrifice time and resources to pursue higher education, through innovative job creation ideas. I will seek to incentivize business development and repeal the personal property tax.
My current chapter in life finds me in the not-so-unique position of staying home to take care of my children, while my wife goes to work. Across this district and throughout the state, the issue of unemployment and the need for job creation is the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters I have greatly enjoyed watching my children grow and being a part of their daily lives, but I desire to work. Idaho needs to work harder to open the doors to more professional-level jobs, and to increase the median income for working families. As an elected official, I will make this my work.
My opponent demonstrates a wealth of knowledge and legislative experience. If elected, I will bring to the table relevant experience. I will speak up for a district that has sat in the shadows of important legislation. I will work with my colleagues, Graham Paterson and Joan Cloonan, as we have on the campaign trail, to be the voice for families and businesses in our diverse community.
Lee-Mark Ruff is the Republican candidate for House Seat A in legislative District 16, which takes in Garden City and portions of West Boise.