In recent days, we've run posts from people arguing the case for two of the Democratic candidates for Idaho governor, and today a post - from former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa - arguing the case for one of the Republican candidates. Comparable posts advocating the other two major candidates in the case, Raul Labrador and Tommy Ahlquist, would be welcome and we'd be glad to run them too.
In 40 years of managing elections in Idaho, I noticed a few characteristics that the best candidates – and leaders – have in common.
They talk less and do more. They under promise and over deliver. They are collaborative. They take the long view even when it’s unpopular in the here-and-now. And they know that in a state as close-knit as Idaho, today’s opponent could be tomorrow’s ally – so they don’t burn bridges.
Brad Little embodies those qualities in this year’s Republican primary race for Governor.
Brad Little the Emmett rancher would rather listen than pontificate. He has the experience to know his own mind and the humility and empathy to know that what others think matters just as much.
Brad Little the former State Senator knows the policy-making process firsthand and inside-out. He won’t need a tutorial because he already understands what it takes to get things done in State government. And he knows that no matter how bold the claim, no one can do it alone.
Brad Little the Lieutenant Governor knows that whether it’s raising cattle or presiding over the Idaho Senate, working together is the best way to accomplish shared goals and come out the other side without bitterness or backbiting.
Brad Little the husband, father and grandfather knows that working in State government has a lot more to do with preparing the next generation and the one after that for the challenges ahead than it does with achieving personal political success. He’s in it for a better long-term future, not better numbers in today’s polls.
I know Brad Little to be the kind of candidate and the kind of person who will make us proud as Governor. He and his wife Teresa are gracious without being self-congratulatory. They are engaged without being condescending. They are hard-working to their very core. And they are Idaho, through and through.
There are certain givens when it comes to successful candidates in Idaho. They must be for stronger families. They must be protective of Idaho’s water, rural lifestyle and public lands. They must have at least a healthy skepticism about the federal government. And they must be willing to put their ego and personal agendas on the shelf to make tough choices for the common good.
Brad Little fits all those criteria and more. He will work hard to help ensure that Idaho’s economy keeps growing, Idaho’s communities are safe, Idaho’s budget is balanced, Idaho’s public policies are sound and responsible, Idaho’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C., Idaho’s children get a world-class education, and their own children have the kind of career opportunities that keep them right here at home.
That’s why I’m voting Brad Little for Governor in the May 15 Republican primary election, and it’s why you should too.