Republican Jerald Raymond (left) is running against Democrat Connie Delaney for Seat 31A.
LEMHI COUNTY – Republican Rep. Jerald Raymond is currently campaigning against Democrat Connie Delaney for District 31 Seat A in the Idaho House of Representatives.
To learn more about the candidate’s platform, EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to each legislative candidate. Their responses were required to be 250 words or less. Their unedited answers are listed below.
More information on Raymond can be found on his campaign website.
More information on Delaney can be found on her Facebook page.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Raymond: I am a fourth generation Idahoan. My wife (Cheri) of 45 years and I have 6 married children and 24 grandchildren. We, both, have lived in Jefferson County our entire lives and educated our children in the Jefferson county school district. Cheri and I both graduated from Rigby High School and attended Ricks College.
We are in the livestock industry and own/operate a feedlot near Menan. In addition to parenting and church service opportunities, I have had leadership experience in the Farm Bureau Federation, the Idaho Cattle Association (past president), and as a former county commissioner, serving as chairman for four years. I also served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2019-2020.
Delaney: I work in tech support from my home in Salmon, Idaho. The biggest quality I bring to the campaign is my ability to research and put together the big picture of complex issues.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Delaney: Family is always first and I raised three children who are doing great in their lives. I am proud of my ability to see life clearly and not lie. Living truthful is a huge accomplishment.
Raymond: Definitely our family! Our children are successful in their own right, are good citizens, and are teaching our grandchildren correct principles.
Our involvement in the livestock industry has allowed us to travel nation wide and has given us opportunities to meet new friends and learn new techniques of animal husbandry.
Why are you a member of the Republican / Democrat / Independent / Other party? Briefly explain your political platform
Raymond: Not only am I a fourth-generation Idahoan, but I am also a multi-generational Republican. I was taught conservative principles by my parents and both sets of grandparents.
As business owners we understand the value of money, risk, and balancing budgets. I am fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and adhere to the principles of our Founding Fathers.
Delaney: I was raised Republican, but throughout my lifetime, the Democratic party has been the one fighting for the regular people of this country, instead of the rich and powerful.
I also can’t abide the constant lies from the GOP about social issues, science and morality. Democrats stick by science even when it is difficult to understand.
What are the greatest challenges facing Idahoans?
Delaney: Misinformation. The people of Idaho are good people who help each other.
If we aren’t being fed lies it will be easy to solve our collective problems such as education, health care, transportation and coming climate change.
Raymond: Idaho is a conservative state with some liberal neighbors. Protecting and enhancing Idaho’s values requires keen leadership. Growth is here, and we must manage it or it will manage us. This will require common sense and hard work. Our forefathers had good sense as to where to invest for the future.
Those efforts must not be lost on us! We must seek opportunities to invest in our children and grandchildren’s future.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Raymond: I do not have all of the answers to our challenges, but I know folks who have had great learning experiences to glean from. While previously serving in the House, Rep. Furniss, Senator Burtenshaw and myself communicated on a regular basis on how legislation would affect our constituents.
That kind of dialogue is essential and will be commonplace once I am elected. One can learn a lot by listening, studying, and asking questions. It’s a pretty narrow-minded man who thinks there is only one way to see things. That being said, my core values will never be compromised. My pro-life, pro 2nd amendment, and family values will rule the day.
Delaney: I will never stand for lies and disinformation. If a differing political view is not based on facts then education is necessary.
What role do lobbying entities play in the decision-making of Idaho legislators?
Delaney: Too much. Just like our nation the rich and powerful have too great a say in government. We need legislators who work for the people.
Raymond: Lobbying in Idaho is very different than in Washington D.C. Each lobbyist has an obligation to his/her sponsor to help legislators understand the consequences, both intended and unintended, of legislation that effects their respective businesses.
Lobbying techniques vary from lightly suggesting to in-depth educating to outright black balling and holding legislators hostage to a score card. I have little/no use for the heavy-handed style of lobbying.
How can you encourage compromise, debate and a bipartisan approach to introducing new legislation in Idaho?
Raymond: I could share several examples of working “across the isle” on issues that affect rural Idahoans. We must remember that our work should benefit our constituents, regardless of party persuasion.
One thing that I have found helpful is to share experiences with others and let them see an issue through my lens, then ask if they could help me better understand some of their issues. Why would someone support my issues if I am not willing to understand theirs?
Delaney: It’s best to focus on issues that have the greatest impact on the regular guy: such as education, health care and infrastructure. Bipartisan doesn’t work if it is only one side trying to compromise.
What parts of Idaho government could benefit from additional state funding? What part of Idaho government could be improved with financial cutbacks?
Delaney: Additional funding: Education, transportation, election fairness.
Less funding: Legislator salaries.
Raymond: I prefer to use the term “appropriate funding” rather than cutback or additional. Every government entity can, and should, seek to cut excess expenditures and utilize every dollar appropriated to the fullest extent. That being said, education must be a high priority including expansion of CTE programs! Our children are our future! Education displaces poverty. We must invest in our infrastructure, i.e. roads and bridges. We cannot leave this to our children to “figure out”. Deferred maintenance is deficit spending.
As our state grows, so will law enforcement challenges. Appropriate funding for our men and women in blue is a must, including our local elected law enforcement officers. In Idaho, we produce more food products than we consume. Therefore, export markets beyond our borders are essential. In the next few months, Idaho’s livestock industry will witness three new harvest facilities becoming operational.
This will require appropriate funding for scale certification, ISDA lab work, brand department, etc. These are but a few of the many examples of our “tax dollars at work”, work being the operative word. As Jimmy Stewart stated in It’s a Wonderful Life, “let’s take a momma dollar and a pappa dollar and tell them to go make babies”. If we invest our tax dollars wisely, they will be a benefit, not a burden.
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