Chuck Winder was the sponsor of the most controversial bill of 2012 legislation to require a woman to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
James Mace filed as a write-in challenge after the ultrasound bill surfaced. He received the necessary signatures in the May 15 primary, so his name will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Winder is not a one-issue senator. And Mace is not a one-issue opponent. On balance, Winder is the best pick in the Nov. 6 election for District 20 Senate.
Winders political and government experience gives him an edge. A former Idaho Transportation Board member, Winder well understands infrastructure issues, which have gone largely unaddressed during the states economic downturn. In four years in the Senate, he has quickly moved up the GOP ranks, serving as the Senates assistant majority leader.
Winder, who works in commercial real estate, is pro-business and pragmatic on tax and budget issues. Winder supports repealing the personal property tax on furnishings, equipment and supplies, but is concerned about the potential effect on local governments that depend on the tax revenue. Hes a strong supporter of local-option taxing authority. Hes open-minded about using federal dollars to expand Medicaid, an option allowed under the U.S. Supreme Court health care ruling.
It was disappointing to see Winder stray from practical issues and sponsor the flawed ultrasound bill at the behest of anti-abortion activists. But we also believe he has heard an earful from critics. I dont personally plan to bring it back.
Mace described the ultrasound bill as a grievous wrong, and the Iraq war veteran said he felt it was imperative to challenge Winder. Hes a small business owner passionate about job creation, a well-spoken newcomer who believes the state has breached the public trust on ethics and the mishandled ouster of Idaho Transportation Department head Pam Lowe. We hope to see him run again. In other West Ada legislative endorsements:
DISTRICT 20, HOUSE SEAT A
While District 20s Senate race features two good candidates, we endorse neither candidate for House in District 20. Two-term Republican Rep. Joe Palmer was House Speaker Lawerence Denneys surprise pick to take over as Transportation Committee chair after the 2011 session. But he has done little to solve transportation issues that are key to his district. He instead pushed a ham-handed bill to shut off parking meters around the Statehouse not long after his sons car was impounded over delinquent tickets.
A Marine veteran and a political newcomer, Caitlin Lister adheres to the Democratic party line on everything from the Students Come First education laws to the ultrasound bill. But she doesnt seem to be running a viable, credible campaign. Given her lack of political experience, thats troubling.
MARV HAGEDORN, DISTRICT 14 SENATE
Hagedorn has long supported the kind of corporate and personal income tax cuts that passed the 2012 Legislature, and hed like to see more income tax relief. We didnt support the 2012 cuts because they were a gamble, a long-term cut covered by one-time money. But at least Hagedorn is at least talking about a more far-reaching tax overhaul that might involve a repeal of some sales tax exemptions.
Thats a better approach something wed like to see Hagedorn pursue if elected to the Senate in District 14.
With six years experience in the House, including the learning curve of serving on the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, Hagedorn gets our nod over an independent, former Eagle City Council member Al Shoushtarian.
REED DEMORDAUNT, DISTRICT 14 HOUSE SEAT B
DeMordaunt co-sponsored the ultrasound bill which made no exceptions, even for victims of rape or incest. But he now says the state should be more sensitive to such victims. Ive certainly learned a lot by listening.
We will take DeMordaunt on his word, and endorse him for a second term, with reservations.
Our View is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesmans editorial board.