Bill Drury | Courtesy photo
MALAD — Incumbent Kelly Anthon will receive a challenge from two fellow candidates in District 27 for Idaho State Senate.
In order to earn a third term, Anthon must fend off a primary challenge form fellow Republican Jeanie Hakes. Should he do so, he will then face Independent candidate Bill Drury in the general election.
EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to each candidate. Drury was the only District 27 senate candidate to respond — his answers below were required to be 250 words or less.
District 28 includes all of Cassia and Oneida counties, and parts of Minidoka County.
The primary election is on May 17. The general election is on November 8.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
DRURY: I have been married for 38 years. My wife and I have two children. One is graduating from the University of Idaho this May and the other is a freshman at Boise State University.
I have a B.S. in Information Systems Management from Purdue University. I worked in IT for 7 years. I made a career change to aviation and currently work as a commercial airline pilot. I also have a small business in Natural Hoof Care.
I have lived most of my life in New Jersey, moving to Idaho in 2015. In New Jersey, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, volunteered at the local ambulance company as an EMT, volunteered at the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Philadelphia and was a member of the planning team for the annual City to Shore MS bike ride. In Idaho, I am a member of the local ham radio club.
I have never held a political office. I have helped several local campaigns in New Jersey and Idaho. I have testified at several committee hearings in Trenton and Boise.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
DRURY: In August of 2016 my youngest child was diagnosed with leukemia. Managing to keep the family together and getting my child through this difficult time is my proudest accomplishment.
Why are you a member of the Republican/Democrat/other party? Briefly explain your political platform.
DRURY: I have seen too many good people run for office in order to effect change only to become the very legislator they wanted to change. This happens because party leadership puts great pressure to the legislator to “get on-board”. If they don’t “get on-board” then there is the threat of not getting supported for reelection.
As an Independent I will not be concerned about such things. I will have no party leadership and I will always be challenged for reelection. This will keep me focused on the principles I ran on and the constituents I represent.
My political platform is that government needs to be limited and accountable. It is the role of government to protect the rights and liberty of people; not run their lives. The legislature needs to stop writing so many laws and start seeing if the laws they have written are being enforced and see what effect those laws are having on the citizens of Idaho. Finally, the legislature needs to stop giving its constitutionally granted power over to the executive branch.
What are the greatest challenges facing Idahoans?
DRURY: The three big challenges facing Idahoans today are Inflation, out of control property tax increases and loss of individual freedoms.
While a state government cannot control the market forces that create inflation, it can work to not be part of the problem. Eliminating the grocery tax would have an immediate positive impact on Idaho families. Keeping government spending at the lowest level possible and keeping taxes just as low would also help reduce the burden of inflation.
Residential real estate has been taken over by investors. This has caused a shortage of available housing and an increase in property taxes. The legislature needs to address this by detaching property taxes from market speculation. It also needs to separate real residential housing from investment housing and tax accordingly.
Sadly, the pandemic showed how quickly the government can take away personal freedoms. If your job or business is paying your bills, it is essential. No one person or small committee should be able to restrict people from making a living. Two years out from the start of the pandemic and the damage to people, families and the economy is crystal clear. The legislature needs to address this before anything like this happens again.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
DRURY: I think the best way to represent the views of my constituents will be to listen. Being willing to be stopped on the street, in the supermarket or at the feed store and hear the concerns of people will allow me to best represent people when in Boise.
I also plan to hold townhalls and use emails to keep a dialog with constituents.
What role do lobbying entities play in the decision-making of Idaho legislators?
DRURY: Lobbying entities have far too much sway in the decision-making of Idaho legislators. At committee hearings, members of the general public are prohibited from speaking while the lobbyist are permitted to testify for their organization. I have heard legislators say that to vote against/for something would upset some lobby group. This is an indication that our legislators have little regard for their constituents.
Business and organizations should be able to address their concerns with legislators but not over the concerns of individual citizens.
How can you encourage compromise, debate and a bipartisan approach to introducing new legislation in Idaho?
DRURY: The current session of the legislature proposed over 800 pieces of legislation. I have no idea how any of this could be properly discussed or debated. I can only encourage that the number of proposed bills be reduced and more time spent on legislation that has real value to the people of Idaho.
What parts of Idaho government could benefit from additional state funding? What part of Idaho government could be improved with financial cutbacks?
DRURY: Idaho has a $1.5 Billion surplus. There is enough funding. I would like to see less state government and see that power returned to the counties and cities. Good government occurs when closest to the people. The needs of Ada and Canyon Counties are quite different than the needs of Cassia, Minidoka and Oneida Counties. One item that would need to be considered is to examine how unfunded mandates burden smaller counties in the state and find acceptable solutions.
The post Drury, Hakes to challenge incumbent Anthon for Senate District 27 seat appeared first on East Idaho News.
Drury, Hakes to challenge incumbent Anthon for Senate District 27 seat
Bill Drury | Courtesy photo
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