Editor’s Note: The announced GOP candidates for governor of Idaho — Lt. Gov. Brad Little, former state Sen. Russ Fulcher, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and political newcomer Tommy Ahlquist — have been invited to write Guest Opinions about why they are running. Here is Little’s contribution. Ahlquist’s piece ran April 14.
There’s a lot that’s great about Idaho – magnificent vistas, world-class recreation, incredible natural assets, rich history and wonderful, hard-working people. Those are just a few of the reasons that Idaho is growing faster than almost anywhere in the nation.
But the successes of the past and the strengths of the present are only scratching the surface of our full potential as a state. When I think about Idaho, I see a future as big and bright as we have the courage and vision to make it. So for all this state and its people mean to me and my family, the message of my campaign for governor is simple: We can do better.
I’m grateful for Idaho’s conservative foundation, and I’m excited by our increasing economic diversity and increased prosperity. They are, in part, the result of responsible, prudent fiscal policies and a culture that values self-reliance, independence and common sense. Yet there are next steps that Idaho must take in order to prepare for and fully participate and succeed in a rapidly changing world.
As your governor, I want to challenge the comfort of our preconceived notions, our predetermined outcomes and our institutional perceptions about Idaho’s path forward. We must be willing to look ahead boldly and confidently to what Idaho can become.
That will take nurturing innovation and embracing big ideas. I have spent much of my adult life doing exactly that, in business and in government. Now I’m eager to apply what I’ve learned to the challenges of Idaho’s future. I don’t have all the answers, but I know who does and where to find them. They’re working in our fields, forests and factories and sitting at kitchen tables all over Idaho.
One of the first big ideas to embrace is that achieving the ideal “American dream” is not a singular vision for all our citizens. There are more than 1.7 million American dreams right here in Idaho, each as different and as vital as the next. It is the job of any government to facilitate and enable those dreams, not to dictate and guarantee them. It is the job of our state government to protect and defend the right of all Idaho citizens to pursue their own version of the American dream in their own way.
That means investing taxpayer dollars more wisely, carefully and sustainably than ever. It means consistently pushing back against federal overreach. It means ensuring that our state government is more nimble, flexible and responsive to an increasingly dynamic world. It means leveraging our ability to move at the speed of business to stay at the cutting edge of public policy innovation. And most of all it means encouraging and cultivating the innovative spirit of our people, communities and organizations.
To effectively tackle the challenges of tomorrow on such complex issues as education, infrastructure and information security we must step up our efforts to build a more skilled workforce, reward new and better ways of achieving our goals, and hold government more accountable for its properly limited role in our lives. That includes keeping taxes fair, simple, predictable and competitive and regulations minimal, reasonable and responsible.
Teresa and I are motivated in this campaign by the best reasons I can imagine – my five grandchildren, who are seventh-generation Idahoans. We want each of them to have the opportunity to strive for their own vision of the American dream right here in Idaho. With your help, we can do better.
Find out more about my comprehensive plans at www.bradlittleforidaho.com.
Brad Little is Idaho’s Lieutenant Governor.