Wednesday, October 24, 2012

LeFavour, Simpson fight for District 2

Former state senator challenges Republican incumbent

Express Staff Writer

Among the five local contested races and issues, as well as two constitutional amendments and the one referendum on state education laws, will be one more choice: Do Blaine County residents want to retain current Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, or replace him with Democratic candidate Nicole LeFavour?

LeFavour served as a state senator for eight years, but gained notoriety last year for her stance on “Add the Words,” a campaign to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Idaho’s Human Rights Act. 

Doing so would have prevented Idahoans from being fired or otherwise discriminated against for being gay.

LeFavour—the Legislature’s only openly gay member—was a strong supporter of the movement. Though a bill to add the words did not get a hearing, she attempted to add an amendment to a bill regarding prison contraband penalties. That amendment was also struck down.

LeFavour is a former teacher and small-business owner, and said she supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and opposes further cuts to Medicare.

Simpson has been Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District representative for seven terms. He was also a member of the Idaho Legislature from 1984 until 1998, after which he left for Congress. He’s been endorsed by the National Rifle Association for his stance—and voting record—on gun laws.

He’s also the driving force behind the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act, a bill that would place more than 300,000 acres of Idaho land under federal wilderness protection. The bill was first introduced—without success—in 2004 and was reintroduced in 2010, also without success.

He is also an opponent of the Affordable Care Act, and states on his website that he will continue to work to repeal the act while replacing it with “real market based reforms” to bring down the cost of health care. He also stated that he does support medical malpractice reform and the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

The 2nd Congressional District spans most of the southern half of the state, including Eastern Idaho, the Magic Valley and nearly all of Boise.

Kate Wutz:

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