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Tuesday’s Primary Election Preview

  • Tuesday’s Primary Election Preview

  • 14 May 2018 by 0 Comments

Tuesday’s Primary Election Preview

by Richard Larsen

Published – Idaho State Journal, 5/13/18

Our Primary Election is next Tuesday. This is the opportunity for voters to select their potential governmental leaders, and determine which direction our governing bodies lean ideologically. Voters who opt to not participate in the primary election, and then complain about the choices available in November, are at least partly to blame for those choices. If you want to have a say in the process, the primary is easily as important as the general election, especially when there are important contested races.

I would never be so presumptive as to tell someone how to vote. Everyone has different priorities and expectations of their elected officials. However, due to the number of requests I receive at election time, (which is truly humbling!) I usually share my rationale on electoral choices.

My entire focus will be on the Republican ballot, since the Democrat Party has so significantly morphed in recent years that it’s impossible to ascertain anything that they “stand for” that’s representative of mainstream Americans. Today’s Democrat Party is most certainly not a “democratic” party, or a “party of the people.” It’s a party that creates and preys on victimhood, expands the power and reach of government into every facet of our lives, sacrifices personal liberty at the altar of omnipotent government, and seeks to part citizens from their paychecks as much as possible through taxation. It’s completely unfathomable to me that one of the two major parties could be so antithetical to the very principles and tenets that our republic was founded upon.

Unless a Democrat candidate can demonstrably distance himself from the political vacuity and inanity of his party, they can hardly be considered a viable alternative to someone whose ideology is ensconced in constitutional probity.

When assessing candidates for political office, too many on the right of the political spectrum employ a rather specious and subjective analysis based simply on their presumption of who is the most “conservative.” Constitutionally based ideological integrity is critical, but it’s not the only thing. Character, honesty, knowledge, competency, effectiveness, and electability also must be factored in.

And there’s one additional criterion that is often overlooked in today’s vitriolic political environment. And that’s realism. A viable candidate knows that all things in governance are incremental . Hardly ever can one in governance have everything that he or she wants, which requires compromise to incrementally move things in the right direction. Sometimes the most ardent conservatives lack the connection with reality to make such adjustments, and they lose their potential efficacy by reducing themselves to an unremitting “no” vote. Such detachment from reality could hardly be considered effective or competent.

Taking all these things into consideration, Raul Labrador is my clear choice for governor. He’s principled, constitutionally founded, has the people skills to effectively lead and work with others, and knows when to part company with those who believe the same way, but don’t understand incrementalism in governance. As Ted Cruz, Texas Senator has said, “His fierce commitment to conservative values, his respect for our Constitution, and his pledge to making government accountable to the people will make him a great governor and I’m proud to endorse his candidacy.” I couldn’t agree more.

The same can be said for Steve Yates, who is head and shoulders above the rest in the crowded Lt. Governor race. Even if all other considerations were equal with his counterparts, (which they aren’t), his competency and effectiveness is clearly manifest in every venture he’s been involved with. From his time in Washington as a Deputy National Security Advisor, to his consulting business, Yates is as knowledgeable and capable as they come. And with his international connections and relationships, he could be a significant asset to the exporting hopes of the state.

Tom Kealey is the most qualified for State Treasurer, and Sherri Ybarra is the most logical choice to continue as Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Jim Guthrie for District 28 Senate, Kay Jenkins for District 28, House seat B, and Molly Swallow for District 29 Representative seat B.

At the county level, there is no one on the Republican ballot, but we can write in Max Shaffer for County Clerk. And for County Commissioner District 1, either Rory Erchul or Ernie Moser would do a superb job, as would Craig Cooper or Ned Tovey for District 3 County Commissioner. Can’t go wrong on either of those.

If you want a say in who is running in November, you’ve got to vote in the Primary, which is next Tuesday. If ever there was a time to quit being apathetic about the political process, it is now!

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at

About the

More than anything, I want my readers to think. We're told what to think by the education establishment, which is then parroted by politicians from the left, and then reinforced by the mainstream media. Steeped in classical liberalism, my ideological roots are based in the Constitution and our founding documents. Armed with facts, data, and correct principles, today's conservatives can see through the liberal haze and bring clarity to any political discussion.

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