Idaho’s federal lands dominate discussion at Nampa candidate forum

April 15, 2014 

About 25 people turned out at the College of Western Idaho on Tuesday evening for a candidate forum that drew three Republican contenders for statewide races in the upcoming primary election.

Both GOP candidates for attorney general - incumbent Lawrence Wasden and challenger Chris Troupis - were on hand at the Nampa forum, as was Jim Chmelik, who is challenging Lt. Gov. Brad Little.

Chmelik, an Idaho County commissioner, and Troupis, an Eagle attorney, both stressed the transfer of public lands to out of federal control as a top issue in the election, saying it would be a major boost to Idaho’s economy and sovereignty. Wasden said suing the federal government for control of those lands would be the wrong approach and likely unsuccessful. Other states that have wrested control of vast swaths of land from the feds have done so through Congress, not the courts, he said.

“This is one issue where we are dramatically opposed,” Troupis told Wasden.

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