Letters to the Editor

Election letters

Lockwood letter: Elect Marv Hagedorn

Character counts and that is why I am voting for Marv Hagedorn for lieutenant governor. I’ve known Mr. Hagedorn for years and have watched and worked with him in our Idaho Legislature. He is a man of conviction and honor, and is pro-life. He is rock solid on Idaho’s important issues, working hard to improve Idaho’s economic growth. He hunts and fishes, and clearly loves this state. He is a man of character and I will be voting for him in the primary election. I encourage my family, friends and everyone else to vote for him too.

R. Mark Lockwood, retired law enforcement, Boise

Mansfield letter: Elect Steve Yates

A number of years ago, I had the honor of nominating Steve Yates for Republican Party Chairman, which I did without any reservation. Later, when he made the decision to run for lieutenant governor, I wanted to be the first person to write him a check, because he was a leader then, and he is a leader now.

Oftentimes, you see elected officials who are wanting to impact you — wanting to shake your hand or kiss the baby. With Steve, that is just a part of his life. When his hand comes out to shake mine, it is not for a vote. It is to tell me he cares about me and my family. If he were not running for lieutenant governor, his hand would still come out to shake mine.

Steve has a unique ability to bring everyone together, and that is one of the things I look for in a lieutenant governor. It is an investment in our state to see a man of integrity, who knows what he is doing, be able to serve. That is why I am supporting Steve Yates for lieutenant governor, and I encourage you to do the same.

Dennis Mansfield, Garden City

Olsen letter: Elect Tom Kealey

Tom Kealey is the best choice for Idaho’s next state treasurer. I’ve known Tom professionally and personally for 20 years. He runs his business with a hands on approach. I know that Tom is the kind of person to be honest with me. Tom Kealey is a man of good character, and it is these kinds of things that Idaho needs in government leadership.

Moreover, Idaho need its government leaders to be qualified for office. Tom Kealey has an extensive resume that demonstrates he understands finances. Tom has a finance and accounting degree, as well as an MBA. Tom has sat on executive boards, ran businesses, and managed some of the state’s money already. Tom was a trustee on the Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board. He has shown he can do the job well, because he has increased Idaho’s Endowment Fund from $550 million to over $2 billion. The financial experience and knowledge Tom brings to the table is ideal for state treasurer candidate.

It isn’t often that a candidate as well-rounded as Tom Kealey comes along. Idaho deserves a candidate like Tom Kealey, so please join me in voting for Tom Kealey for treasurer on May 15th.

Gregg Olsen, Twin Falls

Soule letter: Elect Jennifer Crawford

Thank you, Idaho Statesman, for posting your Voter’s Guide. I am especially interested in comparing the candidates for Canyon County coroner.

I have been following this race and your guide answered some questions but raised others. For example, who is responsible for ensuring the Coroner’s Office meets Idaho State standards for appropriate practices? Who determines that someone elected to the Coroner’s Office actually has adequate knowledge and expertise to fulfill the demands of such a specialized job? What guarantees do the people of Idaho have that the practices of the Coroner’s Office reflect the modern technologies required to communicate effectively with all the various stakeholders it serves?

Basically, why should I vote for Vicki DeGeus-Morris, who has held office for seven terms, without knowing how good a job she has done?

Jennifer Crawford certainly seems to have more education and identifies so many areas that need improvement. Her experience in this office as a Deputy Coroner indicates that she has first-hand knowledge of how successful the current Canyon County Coroner has been.

Shelley-Jeane Soule, Caldwell

Parker letter: Elect Tom Kealey

It’s clear that Tom Kealey is the most qualified candidate running for Idaho state treasurer. Tom understands finance, accounting and investing better than most and he wants to serve Idaho as treasurer. He worked as a certified public accountant for many years. He has sat on many executive boards advising them on sound investment strategy. Tom has experience managing state funds and has demonstrated he can grow Idaho’s wealth through conservative investments as he helped grow Idaho’s Endowment Fund from $550 million to over $2 billion.

In addition to his wealth of financial knowledge and experience, Tom has demonstrated unparalleled enthusiasm during his campaign for state treasurer. He has spent the last 10 months traveling Idaho, eager to get his message to Republican voters. It is clear that Tom is passionate about serving Idaho as state treasurer, and anyone who gets this excited over the prospect of crunching numbers deserves your consideration.

Idaho deserves the most qualified person in finance for treasurer, and that person is Tom Kealey. Please join me in voting for Tom Kealey for state treasurer in the Republican Primary on May 15.

Justine Parker, Boise

Perry letter: Elect George Tway

It’s election season in Idaho and voters have a great group of candidates vying for House District 16B. With each election cycle, we are provided an opportunity to draw contrasts between the candidates based on their records or positions.

In the 2018 Legislature, Marsy’s Law for Idaho — a proposed constitutional amendment to strengthen victims’ rights — failed to reach the required two-thirds majority in the House by just five votes. It was disappointing to see an attempt to do more for crime victims effectively blocked by five “no” votes. Such a thin margin serves as a reminder of how much every vote counts.

It also provides an opportunity to praise leaders like George Tway who did an admirable job while substituting for Rep. Kloc. Rep. Tway stood with the many victims, victim advocates and law enforcement leaders from across the state who supported equal rights for crime victims by voting “yes” for HJR 8 in committee and again on the House floor.

To ensure that kind of support continues, it’s important to cast your vote for legislators like Rep. Tway, whose unflinching support for crime victims shows the kind of vision and leadership we need.

Mary Perry, Garden City

Rael letter: Elect Erik Berg

From wrongfully terminating an employee and leaving taxpayers to foot the $2.7 million bill to the way they handled the opposition to the Dry Creek Ranch development, Ada County Commissioners Jim Tibbs and Dave Case have shown time and time again that Ada County has a serious corruption problem and that under their good old boys’ reign, it’s the developers with money and political clout who’ve been running the show.

I’m thrilled to support Erik Berg for Ada County Commissioner. His attendance and testimony at public hearings throughout Ada County — not only in Boise — has demonstrated he will be a proactive leader with the courage to do the right thing even when the issue is controversial. I’m impressed with his knowledge of county code and with his concrete plans to address residents’ various concerns. Erik understands his job is to serve everyone — not just developers.

When it comes to planning for growth, we are at a critical juncture. Commissioners have the power to insist on responsible development that will shape our communities for the better. Integrity and accountability are two essential qualities needed to accomplish this difficult task. Tibbs and Case have neither. Fortunately, Erik Berg has both.

Stephanie Rael, Boise

Raybold letter: Elect Brad Little

Idaho is earning a reputation as a high-tech state, but it still has strong roots in agriculture. That’s why Brad Little’s experience as a rancher and businessman is exactly what we need in the governor’s office. He’s been involved in trade missions to improve the export of Idaho products, has been on the look-out for businesses that will add value to agricultural efforts in Idaho, and has urged schools to make sure students learn the latest in agricultural management — all this as a way of growing new jobs for Idaho.

Brad also understands that water is the lifeblood of Idaho. It’s critical not only for agriculture, but also for our cities and other industries. Long-term economic growth will depend on careful management of this valuable resource. Brad Little can help Idaho continue to grow while still protecting our water, which is why I support him in the Republican gubernatorial primary election.

Jeff Raybold, St. Anthony

Raymond letter: Elect Brad Little

My wife and I are voting for Brad Little for governor. Our reasons are many, but simply said, he is personable, knowledgeable, and speaks to the question or issue at hand, in a way we average folks can understand. He is Idaho through and through, born, raised, educated, and for most part of his adult life, a participant in serving Idaho public issues at local, county and state levels. He is also known nationally through the Woolgrowers Assn.

Brad’s most recent positions with the Idaho Legislature and as lieutenant governor has been very productive as he was hands on working to help earn very high financial ratings for Idaho and to achieve good employment standings.

Maybe the best reason to vote Brad Little for governor is because we get Teresa in the deal.

Jack Raymond, Fruitland

Ripple letter: Elect Diana Lachiondo

When Diana Lachiondo announced she was running for Ada County commissioner this past fall, I was thrilled at the prospect of having this strong, intelligent and thoughtful woman in office. As co-founder of Idaho Moms for a Brighter Future, a local group of politically engaged women, I’ve had the honor of getting to know Diana and hearing her speak on many occasions. Each time, I am more impressed than the last with her achievements and vision. Like me, she’s the mother of two young boys, and she shares my passion for keeping this community thriving, livable, and sustainable for generations to come. I’ve been so inspired by her depth of knowledge, her commitment to service, and her tireless work ethic. I know that her fresh outlook as our next commissioner and her past accomplishments in our city makes her the best choice in the upcoming election. I’ll be asking for a Democratic Primary ballot on May 15, and I’ll be enthusiastically voting for Diana Lachiondo.

Jessica Ripple, Boise

Siddoway letter: Elect Brad Little

The primary election is May 15. The governor’s race has gotten pretty ugly. Ahlquist accuses Little of voting to increase his own salary. In a very generic way that could be, but it only happened when a bill to address all constitutional officers salaries was brought before the Legislature. Little had no vote once appointed then elected to office of lieutenant governor. Little was able to cut his office expenses many times over the years. Lieutenant governors usually only preside over the Senate during a legislative session and sit in for the governor when he is out of the state. Little took many trips in and out of the state and even the country often on his on time and money to promote Idaho and bring new business to our state. We owe him much of the credit for Idaho’s number one ranking in economic growth, population growth and wage and salary growth (#1 ranking nationally).

Little is a rancher/farmer, businessman, colleague, friend and trusted adviser. I know he stands to do the right thing. Little supports traditional marriage, is pro-life and a strong Second Amendment supporter.

Sen. Jeff Siddoway, Terreton

Stokes letter: Hypocritical candidates

For those of us who watched the Republican Governor debates recently, did anyone else have a “moment” when obvious hypocrisy was on clear display? With regard to abortion, all three candidates stated they are pro-life, even to the extent of considering criminal action against the medical provider and/or the woman. These supposedly pro-life candidates later responded to a question that they would not support a law requiring families to seek medical care that would save the lives of sick children.

To be fair, Brad Little did say he would not seek criminal prosecution for abortions. Tommy Ahlquist waffled so much during his responses to both questions, I am unclear of his positions, except that he follows the usual party line of protecting the unborn. Raul Labrador was clear about his position: “No” to abortions and “yes” to prosecuting the provider. “No” to support of a law that would require families to seek medical attention for sick children. So, let me see if I get this: Regulate the womb, but let young children die without medical attention for the sake of avoiding the “slippery slope” of meddling in religious freedom. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.

Chris Stokes, Star

Stokes letter: Elect Luke Malek

As an Idahoan, I value the lifestyle we have in this great state. I keep the preservation of this lifestyle in mind when considering who to vote for in the First Congressional race. After studying the candidates, I am going to vote for Luke Malek and I’m encouraging you to do so as well. Luke has been a prosecuting attorney as well as a small business owner. His parents are both physicians which offers him a unique perspective when it comes to how health care can be made more affordable and effective. Let Luke work for you, vote Malek on May 15.

William R. Stokes, Nampa

Werner letter: Elect Raul Labrador

I’ve watched two of the Republican debates for governor, and it’s really no contest. Raul Labrador is the best choice. Brad Little just does not inspire confidence in me. When he answers questions, he just doesn’t sound sure of himself. Tommy Ahlquist does not inspire confidence in me either, but for the opposite reason. He seems too robotic. I feel like he’s poll-tested and memorized his answers. He doesn’t seem authentic. When I listen to Labrador, I hear someone who knows what he’s talking about and is giving it to me straight. If every single voter watched at least one of these debates, I have no doubt that Labrador would win — and by a landslide.

Taylor Werner, Boise

Wheatley letter: Elect Raul Labrador

When I think of Tommy Ahlquist, the first phrase that comes to my mind is “vanity candidate.” He wants to be governor, but he was never involved in Republican politics until he started running for office. If he really cared about Republican causes, he would have been involved in basic things, like phone banks, door knocking, and fundraising for true conservatives like Raul Labrador. Ahlquist never did that. In fact, he gave $5,000 to the Democrat candidate for governor — A.J. Balukoff — in 2014. He certainly doesn’t care about Donald Trump, refusing to vote for him against Hillary Clinton. Ahlquist has no business running in a Republican primary. He’s not even qualified to hold Raul Labrador’s jacket.

Jan Wheatley, Meridian

Woodings letter: Elect Diana Lachiondo

I’m so thrilled that Diana Lachiondo is running for Ada County commissioner. We need knowledgeable, caring and expert people to help us navigate the many challenges we face as a county. Diana has demonstrated commitment to affordable housing, community development, transportation, and actually addressing the opioid crisis that is ripping apart our families. She knows how to bring community stakeholders together around challenging issues, and her perspective would be an invaluable change in our county government. I am proudly supporting her campaign, and I look forward to voting for her in both the May 15 primary and November general election.

Holli Woodings, Boise

Caldwell letter: Elect Raul Labrador

Like all Idahoans, I am an advocate for protecting our families. One of the candidates in the governor’s race, however, preaches of protecting our families yet he does not uphold our right to bear arms. In 2007, Brad Little voted to make our college campuses less safe by opposing a campus concealed carry bill. In the wake of the heartbreaking massacre in Florida, it is even more evident that we elect a person that has shown a proven conservative record in protecting Idaho’s families. That man is Raul Labrador. Raul has sponsored, co-sponsored, and supported several bills that protect and uphold our right to keep and bear arms. His record in support of the Second Amendment is flawless and his record is supported by a 100 percent rating from Idaho Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners of America. My vote is going to Raul Labrador because a vote for Raul Labrador is a vote to protect families.

Karie Caldwell, Idaho Falls

Eggers letter: Political signs

A recent letter to the editor mentioned political signs being placed without permission by the owners of the property. I write this letter as I become more discouraged that several campaigns cannot seem to allow political signs of other candidates to remain in place as long as they do not violate DOT regulations and the owner of the land has approved of placement. On several different occasions, the signs of one candidate have been covered by the signs of another, signs placed with permission of the owner (who happens to be the neighbor of the candidate’s mother) were removed and nowhere to be found. And still other campaigns are harassing other campaigns about where they can place signs.

Ladies and gentlemen running for office. Please show a bit of respect. Unless you work for the DOT, leave signs in place unless you know for a fact someone does not have permission, and avoid covering other signs (Yes we have pictures). You work hard to raise money for your campaigns. Stop wasting the money of those who chose to support someone other than you. And tell those who represent you the same.

Rebecca Eggers, Nampa

Lawless letter: Elect Labrador and Fulcher

If you hold the conservative values that so many Idahoans like myself hold then Raul Labrador and Russ Fulcher are the perfect duo for you. As proven conservative, Raul has a fantastic record serving the people of Idaho while in Washington D.C. and he will continue that record as Idaho’s next governor. Likewise, Russ Fulcher has proven to be a dependable conservative while serving in the Idaho Senate and has shown that he is the ideal candidate to fight against the swamp in D.C. Labrador and Fulcher will stand for up for the unborn, fight for your Second Amendment rights, and work tirelessly to shrink the size of government. There are those who will try and tell you they are the only true conservatives out there, but the record says otherwise. Records don’t lie and Labrador and Fulcher’s records tell us that we can count on them to stand up to the establishment and stay true to their conservative values. Raul Labrador and Russ Fulcher, right for me, right for Idaho.

Richard Lawless, Juliaetta

Leatherwood letter: Voter’s pamphlet

I have lived in Idaho for three years. This is my second year to vote. I wonder if Idaho does not print a voter’s pamphlet? I would think with all the new Idahoans who have moved here recently, that it would behoove the state to make sure they are well informed about candidates and issues. I have requested mail-in ballots, haven’t received the one for May yet, but that is all I received for the last election and received a mailbox full of political ads, nothing on issues.

Marjorie J. Leatherwood, Boise

Nielson letter: Voters

I’ve been reading and hearing about who we should and shouldn’t be voting for. Depending on which party puts it out, they rave about their candidates and degrade the others candidates. Seems this degrading and ridiculing has become SOP with “both” parties and their followers. I would love to see voters recall history. Seems they don’t like one party, so they elect the other party. Then next election, they kick out that party and return the party they kicked out before to office. In the mean time, voters — some — point fingers and blame the government for the mess we are in. What I don’t understand are those voters that seem to have forgot that this government they dislike and distrust is run by the people “they” elected. Could it be that voters are the problem?

Keith Nielson, Shelley

Olson letter: Elect Diana Lachiondo

As the Ada County co-leader for Reclaim Idaho, I’ve devoted the past few months of my life getting Medicaid Expansion on the ballot this November. If this initiative passes, not only will healthcare be extended to approximately 62,000 working Idahoans, but counties will save millions in reduced costs. I’m passionate about bringing healthcare to our neighbors, especially when providing that care makes fiscal sense. That’s exactly why I’m voting for Diana Lachiondo for Ada County commissioner.

I’ve watched Diana work to solve many problems, from homelessness to opioid treatment, and have been impressed with her understanding of these complex issues. Time and time again, she’s demonstrated that doing the morally right thing for our fellow humans and saving taxpayer dollars are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they often go hand-in-hand. I trust she will guide county government towards more responsible spending on services that save lives and money.

I am proudly voting for Diana in the upcoming Democratic Primary on May 15th. Our county government needs leaders who are not only experienced, hardworking and well-informed but also capable of standing up and fighting for what is right. Diana is that person for me.

Tracy Olson, Boise

Oppenheimer letter: Elect A.J. Balukoff

Idaho needs a leader who can rise above the division and bitterness that is dominating our political space. We hope that the negativity that has infected politics will instead encourage Idahoans to seek out a candidate who understands the value of working strategically with diverse interests and finding common ground to solve the complex issues that face our state.

That’s why we are wholeheartedly supporting A.J. Balukoff to serve as Idaho’s next governor. He is compassionate, strategic, collaborative and can rise above the division that is weakening our state and our country.

In addition, polls consistently show that education is Idahoan’s top priority. A.J. is the only candidate that has the experience and breadth of knowledge that will provide the leadership that we need to ensure Idaho’s constitutional duty “to maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”

We invite you to join us and support A.J. Balukoff on May 15 and again on Nov. 6.

Beth and Jonathan Oppenheimer, Boise

Painter letter: Elect Diana Lachiondo

I’ve grown to know Diana Lachiondo through my work with the refugee community, and I know she strives every day to make Boise a truly welcoming community. Diana values and recognizes the humanity in all people and, at a time when our state and national policies don’t often reflect those values, it matters more than ever. She understands that people from war-torn countries and harrowing circumstances deserve a place to land safely and lead stable, productive, and fulfilling lives. Anyone can pay lip service to ideas of tolerance and inclusion, but Diana practices what she preaches in her work, volunteer time, and personal support of our refugee neighbors. Please join me in voting for Diana Lachiondo for Ada County Commissioner in the May 15 Democratic Primary: she shares my values and is exactly the kind of smart, compassionate, and hard-working leader that our county government so badly needs.

Katie Painter, Garden City