Candidates speak at forum
BLACKFOOT — Jean Nilsson has attended several candidate forums, including Thursday's event which the Blackfoot Association of Realtors sponsored.
"I came here to become better-informed so I can make a better decision when I vote," Nilsson said.
Shane Gifford, a realtor, added, "I came to here what the people say and feel what their passion is.
"They gave us some good information," Gifford added.
Speakers were the four candidates for state House of Representatives Seats A and B and for Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney in Tuesday's Republican primary election.
Jim Marriott is the incumbent for House Seat B. He pointed out that his experience with Blackfoot Medical Clinic over a lifetime provides him with considerable insight into healthcare.
"That's going to be a big issue this year," he said.
Julie VanOrden is running against Marriott. She focused on her knowledge of the agriculture industry, where her parents and she and her husband have made a living. She also noted that, as a member of the Snake River School Board, she has considerable insight into the workings of education.
Four men are running to replace retiring Rep. Dennis Lake for Seat A.
Neil Anderson pointed out that he served two weeks in the Legislature in 2010 when Marriott's wife was dying from cancer. He also noted his background in agriculture.
"With 35 new representatives to be elected this year, there's a wonderful chance to build new alliances," he said.
R. David Moore emphasized his degrees in education and his work with the Legislature on law enforcement issues. He is Blackfoot's chief of police who has spent 15 years helping lawmakers focus on public safety issues.
Bob Butler, a civil engineer, noted that Eastern Idaho has received a too-small portion of state highway funds over the past few years. He said his technical background is essential in understanding how to improve the state's transportation system.
Mike Duff, who has served as an aide to U.S. Sen. Steve Symms and in other governmental agencies, stressed his longtime background in public service and his understanding of the legislative processes.
Cleve Colson, who is running against Scott Andrew in the prosecutor's race, said he believes it's time for a change of leadership in that office.
Andrew ensured voters that he still has the passion for his office that he brought when he was first elected in 2000.