Biography and Background

As a member of our community and during the times I have been given to serve in elected office I have worked to preserve our traditional Idaho conservative values of family, faith, hard work, common sense, lower taxes and less government. For me holding elected office is about serving those who have given you the opportunity to serve. In doing so I try to listen more than I talk. My father worked for Albertsons when I was born and his work took us all over the Pacific Northwest and Midwest. He taught me the importance of a strong work ethic and personal responsibility. After my wife and I finished school, we were able to come back to Nampa where I used to come for family reunions. My wife Jan and I have been married for 36 years and we raised our five children here. We hope many of our five grandchildren and counting will be blessed with the same opportunity to be raised in Idaho. My bachelor’s degree is in International Business from Brigham Young University, and I earned a Juris Doctorate degree Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law. I started my career as a deputy prosecutor for Canyon County almost 30 years ago and was elected and served two terms as a County Commissioner. While serving as a County Commissioner I was elected by my peers as the president of the Idaho Association of Commissioners and Clerks. I have a strong sense of patriotism and love my country. I received my commission as an officer in the United States Army Reserves in 1997 and served for 20 years before retiring. Volunteering is one way we give back to our community and I have enjoyed serving as a youth sports coach for my children’s teams and as a scout leader. Currently I am a small business owner and practice real estate, business, land use and local government law. I have been an active volunteer and leader in the Idaho Republican Party for almost 30 years. My service for the Republican Party includes Precinct Committee Chairman, Youth Committee Chairman, Central Committee Vice Chairman, Central Committee Chairman and State Committeeman. I am a member of the Canyon County Republican Hall of Fame and was voted the 2011 Canyon County Republican of the Year. It has been my privilege to serve for five terms in the Idaho State Senate and am currently the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee. I also serve on the Commerce Committee and the Local Government and Tax Committee. I regularly take the lead in the legislature in supporting our men and women in law enforcement, fighting to strengthen the protections for the unborn and preserving and enhancing our Second Amendment rights.

Top 3 Issues

Issue 1

I always strive to support and maintain a strong economy in Idaho and enhance the opportunities for people and small business to improve their own circumstances. I think people are responsible for themselves and their families. To a large degree government helps individuals and the private sector by staying out of their way. I will continue my past efforts to reduce government regulation and lower taxes each legislative session. Less government regulation helps people be successful on their own merits. I have worked on legislation the past several legislative sessions that reduces regulation and requirements on individuals and their ability to work in their chosen occupation. Lower taxes put more money in people’s pockets which in turn supports our economy. I have supported major tax cuts in three of the last four legislative sessions and this last session we approved the largest tax cut in Idaho history. This included $251M in on-going tax relief and $350M in tax rebates that return tax funds primarily to those that paid them. I also carried legislation that provides for $33M in personal property tax relief. As legislators we support our economy and individuals by investing in educational opportunities and infrastructure. We increased K-12 education funding by 11% and increased our colleges and universities by 6%. That increased funding comes with accountability for teacher performance. We also substantially invested in our infrastructure ($400M) to fund repairs and maintenance to our road and bridge infrastructure that has been impacted the rapid growth in our state. We also invested $100M for the construction of new road infrastructure. Our transportation system in vital to get our Idaho goods to market and safely get people to and from work and their other destinations. I will continue to work for and support legislation that helps people improve their own circumstances and that supports a strong Idaho economy.

Issue 2

I will continue to support our first responders and law enforcement. As Chairman of the Judiciary and Rules Committee I have the firsthand opportunity to support our men and women in law enforcement. Idaho is a great place to live because, among other things, we have a low crime rates and safe communities. Our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us and our communities. I supported law enforcement this past session by advocating for additional training and facilities needed at the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) complex. POST is the police academy that provides necessary training for Idaho peace officers. The average American will experience 3 traumatic events in their lifetime. Our average first responder experiences 36 traumatic events annually. We lose more first responders to suicide than we do those killed in the line of duty. This year I carried legislation that provides for peer support counseling. This program allows first responders to counsel with designated peers and have their communications protected like counselor/client communications are protected. This program has proven to be successful in helping our first responders communicate with someone they can better relate to and who understands what they have been through. Peer support counseling helps them deal with the traumatic events they encounter and be able to continue to serve us effectively in our communities. I have stood with law enforcement in holding criminals accountable and resisting efforts to soften criminal penalties for serious crime in Idaho.

Issue 3

I will continue to work to protect our Second Amendment rights in Idaho. In recent years I have carried and/or worked on most of the significant firearm legislation in the Idaho Senate. This includes drafting and carrying legislation making improvements to the Idaho’s Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine which protects the ability of individuals to defend themselves, others and their property. The passage of that legislation increased Idaho’s ranking from #17 in Guns and Ammo Magazine’s list of most gun friendly states to #2. Idaho has held that position ever since. This year I worked closely with the NRA to develop and pass legislation that protected our firearm rights during a disaster emergency declaration by the Governor. The legislation provides that firearm businesses and commerce are to be considered essential businesses during such a declaration and it prohibits the government from commandeering firearms that are lawfully used or possessed during the period of the declaration of emergency. I am a lifetime member of the NRA and A+ rated legislator by the NRA. The right to keep and bear arms is very important to us as Idahoans and we should continue to look for ways to better protect and strengthen those rights.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes
“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Except for the provisions specifically noted below, I support the Idaho Republican Party Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”
Art 1. Section 3.C. – I do not support repeal of the 17th Amendment because I believe the people of Idaho should have the right to vote to fill a vacancy in our Idaho U.S. Senate seats.

Art 1. Section 4.A. – I think moving to the gold standard is not practical in today’s market/economy.

Art 1. Section 5.D. I strongly support the 10th Amendment and believe in the lawful resistance to federal government mandates.

Art XIV Section 3.E. I oppose abortion and Roe v. Wade and regularly work as a legislator to reduce or eliminate its application in Idaho. I believe there are extremely rare circumstances where rape and incest may be a consideration.

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