Former Bellevue Mayor Dale Ewersen has filed to run against state Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, in the November election, and Carey Mayor Randy Patterson is challenging Larry Schoen for his seat on the Blaine County Board of County Commissioners.
Ewersen and Patterson, both Republicans, were among several candidates who met the statewide filing deadline of March 14 for both the May primary and the general elections.
Other local candidates include Dick Fosbury, a Democrat, running against Rep. Steven Miller, R-Fairfield, for his District 26 House seat and Shoshone resident Don Hudson, who is running against Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, for her seat in the Legislature.
Ketchum resident John David Davidson, a Democrat, is challenging Vicki Heuett for her position as Blaine County treasurer.
County Commissioner Jacob Greenberg, who was appointed to his District 2 position by Gov. Butch Otter in October 2012, is also running for election, but is unopposed.
County Clerk Jolynn Drage, Assessor Valdi Pace and Coroner Russell Mikel are also unopposed, as are all seven District 5 judges, including Blaine County Judge Robert Elgee.
All of the challengers who have filed for local races are of the opposing party to the incumbents, so there will be no primary races.
Ewersen served on the Bellevue City Council for five years and as mayor for three years, between 1981 and 1989. He is co-owner of the Splash & Dash convenience store in Bellevue and works as a life insurance agent. He previously had a custom farming business.
In an interview, Ewersen said he respects Stennett’s service to the community, but believes voters in every election should have a choice. However, he declined to elaborate on the policy differences that he will offer.
“You get better discussion if you have opposing views.”
Candidate for County Commission
Patterson, who has served as mayor of Carey since 2009 and was previously on the City Council for nine years, also said he is running to offer voters a clear choice.
“You get better discussion if you have opposing views, and right now, everybody [on the commission] thinks kind of the same way,” he said.
Patterson said he would provide a more fiscally conservative voice than what now exists among the commissioners. For example, he said, a $1 million road levy would be more sensible than the proposed $5.24 million levy that will be on the May 20 ballot.
He said he thinks Schoen has been a good commissioner, but people have told him that Schoen doesn’t listen well to their complaints.
“A lot of people at the end of the valley would like someone who’s more familiar with the issues that are facing them,” he said.
He declined to elaborate on which issues those are.
Fosbury, a former partner in Galena Engineering, is a county planning and zoning commissioner who previously worked as a civil engineer for the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley.
He said his main interest in serving in the Legislature is to increase funding for education and infrastructure maintenance. He said Idaho’s low ranking in education spending is partly responsible for the state’s low wages.
Fosbury said better maintenance of roads, bridges and school buildings would provide high-paying jobs and boost the state economy.
He said that his engineering background has given him lots of experience working with government entities and negotiating with people who have different points of view. He contended that the current Legislature does not listen well to either its constituents or to the needs of state agencies.
Davidson, a resident of Ketchum, said he was motivated to run partly in appreciation for all that the area gave him as he was growing up here. A 2011 graduate of Whitman College with a degree in Spanish literature, he said he has gained finance skills through his experience managing a $450,000 budget on the finance committee of the Associated Students of Whitman College and managing an $85,000 budget as president of a fraternity there.
Davidson said he recently created computer files for the local office of Boise-based nonprofit Community Connections, which provides services to disabled people.
He said he can provide skills to address some of the recommendations for improvement of county finances made in an auditor’s report presented to the county commissioners last week. One of those was a suggestion that the county improve its files related to state and federal grants.
“I have technical skills that, with my energy and ambition, could really help the county,” he said.
Hudson could not be reached by press deadline Tuesday to provide information on his reasons for running for the Legislature.