The Idaho Statesman routinely checks the criminal, tax and court records of candidates for public office.
These are candidates who want to create or enforce laws or decide to impose or spend taxes, so we look to see how they do when it comes to obeying the laws and paying their taxes.
We include in our list below any candidates who have had 10 or more traffic citations since 1990.
Here is what our searches revealed about candidates running for office Nov. 6:
- Brandon Hixon, Republican candidate for District 10 House A, has had 15 convictions for speeding, invalid drivers license, failure to show insurance, nonregistration, excrement of human waste in public, and illegal possession of alcohol underage. Most of the violations took place in 2003 or before, Hixon said, and represent youthful indiscretions he vows not to repeat. He had a speeding ticket this year and a seat-belt violation in 2011.
- District 15 Republican Senate nominee Fred Martin had 11 speeding, failure to yield or stop-sign violations, the last in 2009. Ive tried to do better over the last few years, Martin said. Ive mellowed. He also had seven citations for failure to provide proof of insurance,but cleared those by providing proof.
In 2003, a default judgment was entered against Martin in state court. Martin said he got behind on credit card debt of about $2,000 or $3,000. The debt to PRA III was satisfied in 2005.
- In a District 16 House race, both candidates have DUIs on their records.
In 2005, Republican Graham Paterson, whose full name is Thomas Graham Paterson, was fined $1,139 for DUI and placed on 24 months of supervised probation. Democrat Hy Kloc was convicted in 2008, sentenced to three days jail and fined $701. Both satisfied the terms of their sentences and were granted withheld judgments.
Paterson did not reply to a request for comment.
Said Kloc: It was a dumb mistake. I didnt think I was drunk, but its something I had to take responsibility for and Ive learned from it.
- In the other District 15 House race, Republican Lee-Mark Ruff has had 18 traffic offenses since 1990; 13 of those were speeding, and the most recent being this year. Ive always had a lead foot, Ruff said.
Ruff also had judgments against him in state court, $12,500 in 1999 and $8,600 in 2001. The former was a business expense on a development project; the latter credit card debt, Ruff said. Ruff also was one of three parties ordered to pay $988,000 in 2000. Ruff said the debt was to his mother, with whom he no longer speaks.
Thats a time in my life Ive tried to close. Business and family dont mix.
- District 18 Democratic Senate candidate Branden Durst has a state lien that was filed against him in 2005. Durst said that when his son was born in 2004, he and his partner were not married. She received public assistance to pay her portion of the costs of the birth. Dursts portion, around $3,500, was not covered, he said, and he was unable to pay the bill. Hes been making monthly payments since and anticipates the full amount will be paid in 2013.
In another case, Capital Pursuit and Recovery won a judgment against Durst in 2012 for failing to pay a $667 bill for what Durst said was a CAT scan. He received the medical test at a time when he had lost his insurance and didnt have the money to pay his bill. Durst said hes working on a repayment plan with the company.
- District 18 Democratic candidate for House Seat 18B Phylis King received 15 speeding violations between 1992 and 2008. King said she didnt realize she had that many violations but has paid all of the fines. I drive a lot of miles, she said. I get up over the speed limit once in a while.
- Brad Bolicek, Kings Republican opponent in District 18, was charged with assault in 1998. A judge dismissed the case on a withheld judgment in 2007.
Bolicek said a contractor doing work disrupted Boliceks business for two days. Bolicek said he got into an argument with construction workers at the site; the workers filed a citizens arrest against Bolicek. Bolicek paid a fine and did community service.
Bolicek filed for bankruptcy in 2004. The case was discharged the same year. Bolicek said he closed his business, Bolos, in Downtown Boise amid a dispute with his landlord over maintenance issues. Bolicek said his attorney advised him to file bankruptcy. Bolicek said he paid off his liabilities before he filed.
- District 20 Democratic Senate nominee James Mace filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and the case was discharged in 2006. Unsecured creditors owed about $28,000 did not get any disbursement. Mace served in Iraq in the Idaho National Guard and said he left responsibility for his bills with a friend while he was away for 18 months for training and overseas service. Its not something Im proud of, but one thing I talk about is transparency, and that applies to me, too, Mace said.
- District 20 Republican Rep. Joe Palmer, chairman of the House Transportation Committee since 2011, has had 17 traffic offenses for which he paid fines, including seven speeding tickets, three failures to register and two seat-belt violations. He also cleared, without fines, five citations for failure to provide insurance.
Ive only had one since Ive been chairman, Palmer said. The older you get, you see the reason and start slowing down.
- Thomas M. Howell, an Ada County District 3 Democratic candidate, has a 2012 state tax lien for $4,187. He said the lien stems from a divorce settlement and he is paying it off.
- Larry Rincover, an Ada commissioner District 1 Democratic candidate, has received 11 speeding tickets and six other traffic violations since 1991. Rincover said he has driven extensively around the state for his job, a factor in his numerous speeding tickets. I hope that Ive become a bit more cautious recently, perhaps a result of simply getting older and less urgent in my travels, he said.