Wednesday, October 27, 2010

State Representative



 

Donna Pence

Age: 68

Occupation: Co-owner of tree farm.

Government experience: Served three terms as District 25 state representative.

Education: B.S. in education, University of Idaho, and MAPE, Idaho State University.

Political affiliation: Democrat

Why are you running?

Twenty years spent teaching gives me insight on the changes to education necessary to meet the demands of the 21st century. After 38 years living on a small farm, I understand agriculture. I have spent a lifetime enjoying the area's abundant natural resources. This combination of experiences will best represent the entire district.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

District 25 legislators in the state House join a group of elected officials working to solve problems in our state and district. The work focuses on state and local issues, including education, employment, agriculture and small business. Agriculture is an economic driver throughout the district and tourism plays a major role in Blaine County.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

Our tree farm and the water rights we hold on the Big Wood Canal Co. provide me with expertise in small business, agriculture, and water issues. I have developed relationships with agencies and other legislators and can get things done quickly. An avid hunter, I passionately believe in protecting our natural resources and I am chair of the Legislative Sportsman's Caucus.

The Legislature may need to find $400 million in the budget next year. What are you prepared to cut?

We need to take a look at sales tax deductions. We can use the tobacco settlement reserve fund. We need to look for efficiencies in agency programs and identify our exact needs with an eye toward cutting unnecessary programs for now. We can look at delaying scheduled grocery tax reductions.

How will you guarantee you are representing all of the diverse interests of District 25, not just those of the Wood River Valley?

Communication with residents and maintaining relationships with government officials are my top priorities. I send weekly updates to an expanded e-mail list and schedule town meetings before, during and after the session throughout the district. Outside the legislative session, I spend at least one-third of my time working on legislative issues.

What can the state do to stimulate business and employment in District 25, apart from focusing on educating the workforce?

We can link existing businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources at the Idaho Department of Commerce to bolster business development, retention and job creation. The Idaho Rural Partnership can connect our cities with federal funding. Finishing the management plan for the Snake River Aquifer would bring stability to the economy's agricultural sector.

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Alex Sutter

Age: 36

Occupation: Business owner and insurance salesman.

Government experience: Richfield School Board, Richfield Planning and Zoning Commission, military service 10 years.

Education: Two semesters at East Stroudsburg University, one semester at Brigham Young University.

Political affiliation: Republican

Why are you running?

I believe in the process, I believe in our freedoms and I want people to have a choice.

How would you describe the position you are running for?

The official duties are to enact a good law that benefits the citizens of Idaho, but also a representative is an advocate for the citizens in your district.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

My belief that the government is not the answer, it's usually the problem, and we the citizens find better answers when government is not involved.

The Legislature may need to find $400 million in the budget next year. What are you prepared to cut?

I'm not going to be presumptuous enough to say what specifically to cut. Being there and seeing the whole picture might be different from the way I see things now. Items required by the Idaho Constitution and federally mandated programs are first priority, as opposed to other ancillary programs.

How will you guarantee you are representing all of the diverse interests of District 25, not just those of the Wood River Valley?

First, I do live in Lincoln County. I have clients in all four counties and I deal with people in all four counties so I understand the issues facing them. I also plan on having an aggressive process to keep in touch with people through social media, including Facebook.

What can the state do to stimulate business and employment in District 25, apart from focusing on educating the workforce?

First, getting rid of tax exemptions, which are a tax increase. The second part is looking at what states like Wyoming, Nevada and Utah are doing and how they are bringing businesses in. Idaho is 39th in business-friendly states, and we need to get in the top 10.




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