Valley man to
challenge Sen. Craig in November
Express Staff Writer
County man announced last week he will challenge U.S. Sen. Larry Craig for
office in the November general election.
Blinken, a self-described conservative Democrat who lives north of
Ketchum, announced Jan. 2 his intention to run against Idaho’s senior
senator, a Republican.
a former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and a New York City investment banker.
He moved to Blaine County in 1996, but stated he’s had ties to the
valley since the ’80s.
obvious that the state has some problems that predate Sept. 11," he
said. "The way I look at it, it’s a lack of good paying jobs that
allow upward mobility."
said he will officially announce his candidacy at events Feb. 13 and 14 at
various cities around the state. He joins Boise real estate agent Dave
Sneddon, another Democrat who announced last year he’ll challenge Craig.
we’re going to be running on is my strength and that is to bring in good
paying jobs to the state," Blinken said.
Blinken was ambassador to Belgium, from 1993 to 1998, U.S. investment in
Belgium nearly doubled, an accomplishment Blinken believes testifies to
his ability to promote economic growth. At the same time, he said he
helped encourage Belgium to invest in the U.S. to the tune of $6 billion.
balanced budget state, we have real problems with health care, education,
et cetera, but many of those things could be overcome by a broader tax
base and you only get that with higher paying jobs," he said.
"The people of Idaho are paying too much in taxes now, and broadening
the base is the way to reduce it for everybody."
being a Clinton administration appointee should not affect his chances for
success in an Idaho race.
one should waste time talking about the previous administration," he
said. "They’re going to label me a liberal, which couldn’t be
farther from the truth. I’m conservative—a Second Amendment rights
64, is originally from New York, but has been visiting the Sun Valley area
since 1980. Though he only bought his home here in 1996, he said the
length of his residency and origin should also not affect his chances for
matters is what you do when you get there," he said.
Blinken nor Sneddon is officially in the race. Candidates cannot
officially declare for office until March. But some challengers have
decided to get an early start against the state’s incumbents.
Attorney for Idaho Betty Richardson, a Democrat, has announced her
intention to challenge first term Republican U.S. Rep. Butch Otter. Nampa
businessman Tom Luna, a Republican, has said he will challenge
Superintendent of Public Instruction Marilyn Howard, a Democrat.
Deputy Ben Ysursa, a Democrat, will try to succeed his boss, Secretary of
State Pete Cenarrusa, who is retiring. And state Rep. Celia Gould, R-Buhl
will challenge Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs in May’s Republican primary.