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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

For the week of May 22 - 28, 2002


Primary Election Endorsements

Voters will cast ballots in primary races for local, state and federal offices next Tuesday, May 28.

It’s important not to forget the primary, which is the day after the Memorial Day holiday. Low voter turnouts traditionally have plagued the primary election. However, two races are on the line for keeps.

Two Democrats are vying for a seat on the Blaine County Commission, with no one from another party set to run in the fall. A seat on the Idaho Supreme Court is also up for grabs.

There’s a dearth of information on most candidates out there. In considering endorsements in the contested races for state and federal offices, the Express looked for competent and well-qualified candidates who could be strong campaigners and who represent their party’s priorities.


Republican Primary

Governor: Dirk Kempthorne—who else but the incumbent? He’s been writing the GOP play book for the last four years. Challengers reflect disgruntled factions within the GOP, whose tent is bulging at the seams and threatening to rip.

Lieutenant Governor: Jack Riggs—appointed by Kempthorne, the Couer d’Alene physician is in his first race for the part-time office. The field of six candidates is notable for its solid defense of this year’s budget cuts for education. Riggs strongest challenge is from veteran legislators, but he’s brought a quiet steadiness to this obscure office that is appealing.

Secretary of State: Ben Ysursa—deputy to Pete Cenarrusa, the man who’s owned the job for 30 years, is the clear choice in this race. Ysursa comes with Cenarrusa’s endorsement.

Attorney General: Lawrence Wasden—chief of staff for outgoing Attorney General Al Lance, Wasden is cut from the same cloth. He wants to continue the office’s push for consumer protection and control over water in the state.

Controller: Keith Johnson—another "deputy" candidate who worked for retiring controller J.D. Williams, seems better qualified for the job than two former legislators who oppose him.



Supreme Court Justice: Linda Copple Trout—no reason to retire Idaho’s first female justice who was elected in 1992. She’s dedicated herself to improving the legal system in Idaho and her list of accomplishments is enormous. She has brought to the bench what a good judge should bring—deep knowledge of the law, care and concern about the impact of decisions, and an even hand.


Democratic Primary:

U.S. Senate: Alan Blinken—this Wood River resident and former ambassador to Belgium has not only undertaken a challenge to incumbent Sen. Larry Craig, his campaign is trying to revitalize Democrats and give Idaho the chance to return to a two-party state. That’s a chance beleaguered Dems won’t want to pass up.

Governor: Jerry Brady—this man has no peer in this race. Bright and articulate, with a scholar’s reserve, he’s the clear choice to carry the Democrats’ banner into the general election. His campaign was visible from the start and he’ll be a contender in November.

Lieutenant Governor: Karl Shurtliff—a civil, administrative and criminal attorney who brings experience on the Idaho State Board of Education to the race. He’s focused on re-examining the state of education funding and finding out why Idaho has one of the highest percentages of prison inmates in the nation.

Blaine County Commissioner: Dennis Wright—this incumbent says he is running for the last time. He has two primary differences with challenger Jim Super. Super favors hiring a county administrator for day-to-day responsibilities, which would free commissioners to set policy. We agree. Wright does not, and says he can’t figure out what an administrator would do. Wright views his job as a defender of the public interest, while Super views it as an opportunity to shape public policy. Both say the county needs strong planning and zoning, protection for open space and agriculture, a valley-wide transportation system and affordable housing. The kicker? Even though he served on the Emmett City Council, Super has not been involved in government in Blaine County. Thus, the nod to Wright. On the other hand, it’s unlikely Super would emulate Wright, who posted a list of names by his desk in his public office for most of his term. The names were of people who supported his opponent in the last election.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.