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PRESS ENDORSEMENTS: These five will serve Idaho well

| May 4, 2022 1:00 AM

The difference is stark between the two leading candidates in races for state constitutional offices.

In-between are two Coeur d’Alene candidates, Mary Souza and Art Macomber, who earn honorable mentions but not gold medals. They’re both plausible options with a strong desire to help. But there are more experienced and qualified candidates ahead of them.

GOVERNOR

By almost any metric, Idaho has benefited from having one of the finest governors in the nation. Brad Little has led his state through the pandemic with the least damage to its roaring economy. And he’s done so despite the antics, insubordination and paranoia of his supposed right-hand teammate, Janice McGeachin.

When you ask yourself why people from across the country are flocking to the Gem State, the answer is long, but one clear component is leadership at the top. And the top is Brad Little.

Honorable Mention: Ed Humphreys is a rising star. We look forward to his contributions in the near future.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

House Speaker Scott Bedke is ready to serve in the state’s No. 2 position. A charismatic dynamo he’s not. An effective, intelligent public servant with a reservoir of legislative experience? That’s Bedke. Importantly, there are no red flags warning of ethical or judgment disasters flying over the Bedke camp. The same cannot be said for his opponent.

One word summarizes Priscilla Giddings: Unfit.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Like our governor, Idaho has been blessed with one of the best attorneys general in the country. Lawrence Wasden is seeking his sixth term in the state’s top legal job, and we enthusiastically encourage voters to support him.

All but the most ardent extremists recognize two of Wasden’s greatest strengths: Understanding his office's constitutional responsibility, and having the courage and integrity to render opinions based on that responsibility alone. His chief opponent, Raul Labrador, is too entrenched in political mud to rise to that level.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Incumbent Sherri Ybarra has earned some gratitude for her part in supporting strong educational infrastructure throughout the state. This race, however, should be decided on one candidate offering much more: Debbie Critchfield.

Critchfield is the perfect blend of a hardworking conservative with a heart for children and a head for focusing on priorities rather than faltering because of noisy distractions. She is one of the best candidates for any state office we’ve encountered, with potential to significantly improve educational outcomes while easing divisions over political and social hot button issues.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Sen. Mary Souza of Coeur d’Alene deserves consideration for this high profile position. Her problem is that there is an even better choice: Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane.

McGrane, a lawyer by training who has been heavily involved in elections work since 2005, oversees 198 deputy clerks so adeptly that his department has consistently been ranked one of Idaho’s Top 10 Places to Work.

A vote for Phil McGrane is a vote for confidence in Idaho elections and the many other important functions of that office.

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For much more information, check out the Kootenai County Voters Guide published Saturday and Meet the Candidates on cdapress.com.