IDAHO FALLS — Shortly after Sen. Dean Mortimer announced he will not to run for reelection, two Idaho Falls locals announced they will be running to take Mortimer’s place.
Adam Frugoli has three main areas he wants to focus on throughout his race and if elected — schools, health and transportation.
“I want to go out and make change. I want to make an impact in the state of Idaho, and make things better in Bonneville County in some way,” said Frugoli, who serves Republican Party District 30 second vice chairman. “I think that with my personality, I can do that. I can work with all kinds of people.”
With more than 17 years of experience in the insurance industry, Frugoli works as an insurance broker and vice president of Archibald Insurance Center, part of the Leavitt Group. He spent time in the education system. He recently resigned as White Pine Charter School Board chair after a heated public exchange with a parent.
Frugoli wants to help Idaho teachers get the tools they need to succeed and give schools the opportunity to handle their funds rather than being told by the Legislature what to do.
“We’ve got to figure out a way that we can finance these schools in a way that’s appropriate for them,” Frugoli said. “The Legislature earmarks a bunch of money, and they tell me (the schools) how I have to spend it. What I’d like the Legislature to do is trust the local school boards to make those decisions and do what’s best for their school and let the voters of their school districts hold them accountable for the results.”
Along with changes in education, he is an advocate of getting more mental health resources available and improving transportation in Bonneville County.
“This is going to be a positive campaign, and it’s going to be strictly on the issues,” Frugoli said. “I hope for the party unity and for our community’s sake that whoever is running on the seat will follow the same guidelines because that’s what I’m going to follow.”
Kevin Cook will be up against Frugoli. Cook said he hopes to be an advocate for education and garner greater exposure for Idaho’s agricultural products, according to a news release.
“With my background, I believe I have the necessary experience, drive and dedication to serving the diverse interests of District 30,” Cook said. “I have a great love for our community and believe we need to keep a dedicated, hard-working and committed person in Boise to serve the interests of eastern Idaho.”
Cook grew up on a small farm and after he graduated from college, he started a small business. Now Cook works as an information technology specialist for the Idaho National Lab.
In the news release Cook said he wants students to have the tools to compete in Idaho’s increasingly competitive job market.
“I want Idaho’s businesses to look at our graduates first when they have job openings,” Cook said. “A well-educated workforce within our state will make it unnecessary to recruit from outside of Idaho.”
When it comes to Idaho’s agricultural industries, Cook believes it is important that the state’s water resources are managed properly to continue to provide for Idaho’s growers.
“I’m proud that Idaho’s potatoes, barley, wheat and alfalfa are so internationally respected, and I want to keep it that way,” Cook said. “The proper management of our water is crucial.”