Randy Patterson took over as mayor of Carey last year, but hopes to spend time in the Capitol next year.
Patterson, 51, will challenge in November two other candidates for the state Senate seat for District 25, which includes Blaine, Camas, Gooding and Lincoln counties.
Also contesting the seat are Republican candidate Jim Donoval, of Sun Valley, and the winner of a Democratic primary election between Hailey resident Robert Blakeley, Hagerman resident David Maestas and Ketchum resident Michelle Stennett.
During the 2010 Legislature, Stennett stood in for her husband, Sen. Clint Stennett, while he continued his recovery from brain cancer. Stennett, who held the Senate seat for nearly two decades, announced last month that he would not seek re-election.
Patterson, as the sole candidate for the Constitution Party, does not have to compete in a primary election, only the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
"I've wanted to run for and be in the state Legislature for a long time and I'm finally in the situation now where I can do that," he said. "The seat isn't open very often, so I don't think there will be a better opportunity than now to make a run at it."
Patterson, who owns and operates a marketing business, was on the Carey City Council for nearly a decade, serving from 1998 through 2006. He ran unopposed for mayor last November after three-term Mayor Rick Baird stepped down from the post.
Patterson said one of the greatest challenges for his upcoming campaign will be name recognition and informing voters of his stance on issues facing both the state and the district.
"The best government is one that is closest to the people it affects," said Patterson, the father of six children, one of whom is posted in Korea while in the Army. "The best decisions for Carey are made in Carey, and, likewise, the best decisions for Idaho are made by the state of Idaho, rather than the federal government making decisions for everyone."
Patterson said that another challenge will be getting people out of a two-party mindset and to consider what he considers the best form of government.
"I think both sides are spending too much money," he said. "What can put the economy back on track is to quit putting so much burden on taxpayers. People vote with their feet—they'll move somewhere else if they don't like our taxation [policies]."
Patterson said that while there are no current Constitution Party members serving as Idaho lawmakers, he has already spoken with sitting members of the Legislature who share his views and with whom he can form a coalition.
These views include the need to re-evaluate entitlements, such as unemployment and other state-funded programs, to increase what Patterson called "personal responsibility."
"There should be a net at the bottom, but we don't have to provide a living, but rather give people the incentive and opportunity to move on," he said.
On the challenge presented by Stennett, whose husband's tenure in the Senate gives her plenty of name recognition, Patterson said it's important to, at the very least, give people other perspectives to contemplate.
"I think Michelle has done a good job over the past year," Patterson said. "But it's good to give people choices. We will definitely have differences on which direction we think the government should go."
Patterson said that if he's successful in the election, he's unsure if he'll resign from his mayoral seat, noting that he would be missing only three City Council meetings during the year.
More information on Patterson will be available soon at his Web site, www.patterson-for-idaho.com, or by calling (208) 309-1701.
Jon Duval: firstname.lastname@example.org