Idaho, time to look to saving all your potatoes! This election, you’re only voting for your House of Representatives, not the Senate this year. Your primary election is on May 15th, so let’s get started! For more info about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Idaho
First off, you have a semi-closed primary. This means that the parties can decide before the election if they want to let unaffiliated voters choose to vote in their primary or not. No worries though, you can affiliate when you arrive at the polls to vote. However, if you ARE affiliated and you want to vote in a different primary, then you have to disaffiliate no later the 10th Friday preceding the primary so you can still vote in a different primary. Idaho also elects whoever gets the MOST votes, even if it’s not a majority. This means that there won’t be a runoff election, and whoever received the majority of votes in the primary for each party will be who is running in the general election. More voting info here.
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. House, Governor, other state executives, State Senate, State House, State Supreme Court, intermediate appellate courts, local judges, school boards, municipal government. NO U.S. SENATE. Everyone in Idaho is voted into office through a party. So it’s important to vote for everyone in the primary election.
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Our recommendation: James Vandermaas
- Business Owner
- Protecting Idaho lands and creating green energy jobs
James has a few reasons for supporting renewable energy:
- Keeping public lands safe
- Renewable energy is good for the economy, and what’s good for the economy is good for Idaho
- Independence from foreign energy sources
- Stopping fracking, which has shown to be detrimental to infrastructure and natural resources
A little on Vandermaas’s ideas about renewable energy and the economy: training workers that are currently employed in fossil fuel enterprises to expand sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar energy, will bring jobs to Idaho that will never go away. (Because the sun and wind will be around for a long time.) Why should we keep using energy that will eventually run out, when we could be investing in energy that will never run out?? Sustainable energy = sustainable jobs.
Keeping Idaho’s public lands safe means that they can’t be exploited for fossil fuels or other unsustainable energy sources. Pretty simple.
Here are some more thoughts on why Idaho should be concerned about protecting their public lands:
“The Republican political stranglehold on Idaho is also giving away public and private land access to Texas gas companies and giving away mineral rights of private landholders using ‘forced-pooling’ as a tactic to steal resources and our property rights. How is this happening? Our Idaho legislature is passing laws written for them by gas industry lobbyists. So who do they really represent, us or the gas industry?
Republicans are repealing laws that make our rivers safe for fishing, for drinking water, and are creating laws that put our ground water at risk.
Private Lands – We must also protect private ownership rights – Our Idaho legislature is giving Alta-Mesa a free ‘fracking’ license to take our privately held mineral rights to our own land, using ‘forced pooling’ to force land owners into leases that are yielding only a pittance. And no protections have been put in place for when the land or groundwater for wells are poisoned by the chemicals released. Since fracking – Oklahoma has more than 3 times the earthquakes as California.”
Here’s the definition of fracking, if you’re unfamiliar: Fracking
Vandermaas also understands why solar and wind energy is better for the average citizen: “With increased solar tax credits and the roll-over tax deduction, homeowners can assist Idaho in becoming the first state to reduce energy cost while protecting our environment. Solar (PV) panels installed on homes are now lasting over 20 years, and the average recapture of those costs, after tax credit incentives, is about 7 to 9 years – it’s paid off and the energy you generate is free!” Imagine getting a Representative who will fight for tax incentives for your energy bill AND save your environment??
Independence from foreign energy sources is also fairly self-explanatory. The more energy we produce, the more jobs we create in America and the more we sustain our own economy.
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Christina McNeil [D]
- Michael Smith [D]
- James Vandermaas [D]
- Russ Fulcher [R]
- Alex Gallegos [R]
- Nick Henderson [R]
- David Leroy [R]
- Luke Malek [R]
- Christy Perry [R]
- Michael Snyder [R]
- W. Scott Howard [L]
- Marvin Thomas Richardson (Pro-Life) [C]
Our recommendation: Aaron Swisher
- Author, financer
- Protecting Idaho from climate change
Swisher is all about protecting Idaho’s land and beauty. He wants to create some teamwork between state and federal government, and the people of Idaho, to keep ecosystems intact and public lands accessible. His concerns with the effects of climate change relate to the forest fires that Idaho deals with, drought, agriculture, etc. Basically, this could be an issue for not just your beautiful land, but your economy too.
Aaron talks about the energy issue too, pushing for a switch to cleaner renewable sources. To do so, he supports a tax on fossil fuels and taking away all subsidies and tax credits for fossil fuels. Because, why the heck should these things be around in the first place?