POCATELLO — November elections are only a few weeks away, and the race for the White House isn’t the only contest on the ballot. Bannock County residents will decide several key positions in the state legislature and county government as well.
Early walk-in voting is already underway at the Bannock County Elections Office. This year voters will determine who wins a two Idaho state senate races, four state representative races and a pair of Bannock County commissioner races.
Here is a breakdown of each contest and the candidates vying for a seat in next monthís election:
DISTRICT 29-A STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Dustin Whitney Manwaring
Dustin Whitney Manwaring (R) was born and raised in Blackfoot and has been a business and intellectual property attorney in Pocatello since 2011. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and graduated from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. He has served as the undersecretary of Election Day operations for the Republican Party of Iowa and worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorneyís Office.
Small business is at the heart of the Dustin Manwaring For Idaho campaign. “When small business suffers, the American economy suffers,” Manwaring says. Small businesses are the only realistic path to creating new jobs. He believes that new, vibrant leaders are needed to step up in government positions. As a young attorney, he sees a need for statesmanship and for educated and articulate small-business leaders who are prepared and willing to make a difference for their local communities and the state of Idaho. He is also an advocate of conservative family values, clean environment, improvement and innovation in education, and increased cyber security.
David H. Maguire
David H. Maguire (D) has been a Pocatello trial attorney for over 30 years. He believes Pocatello needs to fight more aggressively to get funding from the state. He also believes the biggest problem in Idaho is education system teacher salary, and is concerned about teachers leaving due to low pay. He is a supporter of Common Core.
Maguire is a proponent of examining existing tax laws to ensure people are paying their fair share. In particular, he believes state tax exemptions should be eliminated and that businesses should pay higher taxes to fund state education.
DISTRICT 29-B STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Elaine Smith (D), running unopposed, has been an Idaho State Representative since 2002. She was born in Gooding, Idaho, attended Meridian High School, and graduated from ISU.
Smith believes a strong education system is an essential building block of successful community, economically and socially. She also believes in protecting access to public lands and prioritizing small businesses and middle-class families over big corporations and special interests.
BANNOCK COUNTY COMMISSIONER 2ND DISTRICT
Evan S. Frasure
Evan S. Frasure (R), who defeated incumbent Steve Hadley in May’s primary election, is a former Idaho legislator who teaches government at Century High School. Raised in Bannock County and an ISU graduate, Frasure is a proponent of modernizing county operations and facilitating growth in the business community. In addition to his teaching experience, he has over 30 years of experience as a real estate broker.
Roger Hernandez (D) lives in Chubbuck and first moved to Idaho in 1975. He is a retired veteran with 30 years of service in the U.S. Army. He holds a bachelors degree and currently works as a substitute teacher.
Hernandez is running on a platform of accountability and availability; better management to ensure waste management, road, and other basic county services are done efficiently and correctly; strict budgeting and frugal spending.
BANNOCK COUNTY COMMISSIONER 3RD DISTRICT
Terrell Ned Tovey
Terell Ned Tovey (R) is a native Idahoan, raised in Pocatello, and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was educated in School District 25 and graduated from ISU in 2014. He has worked in and around small business his entire life.
Tovey believes the county needs better accountability and forward planning. He believes new solutions are needed to lower the taxpayer burden in Bannock County, which has the highest property tax rate in Idaho. He also supports a full audit of county finances and budget, keeping Idaho money in Idaho, and increased commissioner accessibility.
Linda Leeuwrik (D) lives in Pocatello and has spent eight years as a humanities professor at ISU. She has bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech, Georgia State University, and Bryn Mawr College.
Some of the biggest issues facing Bannock County, says Leeuwrik, are improving the funding of the Portneuf Wellness Complex and stopping, or even reversing, rising property taxes. She also believes the county can benefit from greater community involvement and input, as well as greater engagement and outreach from its commissioners.
DISTRICT 28 STATE SENATOR
Jim Guthrie (R) is a lifelong resident of Bannock County with decades of experience in agriculture and business. His work history includes five years of experience as a journeyman carpenter 12 years as a self-employed rancher and business owner, and 13 years at Ashgrove Cement Company. He has also served six years as Bannock County Commission Chairman.
Guthrie is an advocate of family values, strong work ethic and individual responsibility. His conservative, ìcommon senseî approach to government includes a commitment to fiscal responsibility and economic development. Guthrie believes that ìraising taxes is not the answerî and that the best way to spur economic growth in Idaho is through supporting and encouraging the private sector as opposed to working through government. Guthrie is also an advocate of increased education funding.
Mike Saville (D) is from Pocatello and Grace, Idaho. He joined the U.S. Air Force out of high school and worked for 32 years at IBM. He is now retired after working 13 years at a faith-based financial service organization. His community service includes work with the Pocatello Junior Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion.
Savilleís campaign is centered on increasing education funding, increasing healthcare subsidies, and protecting public land. Saville also supports increasing the minimum wage, increased efforts in veteran care, and increasing taxes on millionaires. Saville also supports immigration reform and says, The immigration problem can only be solved by Washington, DC.
DISTRICT 29 STATE SENATOR
Tom Katsilometes (R) is a native of Pocatello whose family roots in the area date back to the 1800s. He was educated locally and graduated from Idaho State University. He is a practicing attorney and businessman with experience in both the public and private sectors including management, land development, water issues, and agriculture.
Katsilometes believes the best way to grow the economy in Bannock County is to bring more higher-paying jobs to the area, which will increase the tax base and reduce tax rates. He is a champion of increased education quality, reduced government spending, and protecting constitutional rights including freedom of speech, religious freedom, and the right to bear arms. He also believes veterans need access to more quality resources and that increased ìcommunity support of our nationís heroes is essential.
Mark Nye (D) was raised in Pocatello, where he attended Pocatello High School. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Idaho College of Law, Nye has worked for Boise Cascade, in a non-profit community action program, as a judicial advisor, general counsel, and adjunct professor, and as a deputy attorney general for the state of Idaho.
According to his official web site, as president of the Idaho State University Foundation, Nye co-chaired the largest fundraising campaign in the history of ISU, helping to raise more than $150 million for capital improvements and scholarships. An incumbent legislator, Nye is focused on improving employment opportunities, increased minimum wage, and creating better funded, ìworld-class educationî for Idahoís youth.
Sierra Idaho Lorax Carta
Sierra Idaho Lorax Carta (Lib) is a perennial candidate who is vocal about education, uranium contamination, and government corruption. He is critical of leading political parties and believes candidates need to become “Planet Patriots” who are more ecologically minded. He cites green libertarianism and Democratic socialism as his political roots.
Carta says not being corrupt and being highly knowledgeable about politics qualifies him for office. He made news earlier this year after he was cited for trespassing after refusing to leave the offices of Channel 12 Community Television in Pocatello.
DISTRICT 28-A STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Randy Armstrong (R) was born in Pocatello and graduated from ISU with a bachelorís degree in science. He has 39 years of experience in financial budgeting, allocation, and investment with Merrill Lynch; agricultural experience operating his small farm; and eight years of local school board service.
Armstrong is dedicated to conservative Idaho family values and is concerned about ìthe decline in community ethics, the continuous encroachment of government and the uncontrollable leakage of our hard-won earnings.
Steve Landon (D) is a lifelong resident of the Chubbuck/Pocatello area and recently retired after a 43-year career at JR Simplot. During his time at Simplot, he served as a union leader, and he continues to serve on the JR Simplot Education Council.
Landonís platform focuses on education, economy, and access to and protection of public lands. He believes education should be the primary focus of the Idaho Legislature until we are funding at 2016 levels not 2009. He also wants to create more high-paying jobs that will increase the tax base and strengthen local economy.
DISTRICT 28-B STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Kelly Packer (R) is from McCammon, Idaho, and has an extensive background in public relations. She has worked with Fox Broadcasting, Comcast, Hotel Utah, Pine Ridge Mall, Dr. Ernest Sutton Dental, and many other local and national companies and organizations. She has served as the Bannock County Republican Party Chairperson and is a strong supporter of private business.
Packer is an incumbent legislator who is committed to building an economic climate that creates jobs and opportunity. She is against Obamacare and believes there are better solutions for the healthcare system. She says educating Idahoís youth should be the stateís top priority, and she is an advocate of reducing government regulations and waste, simplifying the tax code, and lowering tax rates.
Louis Archuleta (D) describes himself as a former space shuttle engineer with a passion for education. He was born and raised in Pocatello and has worked as a draftsman and designer for more than 40 years. He has worked for various contractors at the Idaho National Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, Hanford National Lab, and Los Alamos National Lab.
Archuleta believes the biggest crisis in the state of Idaho is a lack of education funding, which he says has steadily declined over the past 25 years. He believes increased funding would reduce school levies.
This article originally appeared in East Idaho News.