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Idaho's future is now in your hands

| May 15, 2022 1:00 AM

This isn’t your ordinary primary election.

For Idaho Republicans — and there are a great many of you — May 17 will chart a critical course for all citizens.

Do we go forward with conservative, conscientious leadership that reaches out to those with other viewpoints and employs the art of compromise to do the greatest good for the most people?

Or do we go backward with screeching, angry, tear-down-the-mission, my-way-or-the-highway extremists?

Republicans, you have clear choices.

The Press editorial board has endorsed candidates who fit in the first camp. That is not to say that some of the non-endorsed candidates are unworthy; it’s just that their opponents are more qualified or offer greater potential to keep Idaho one of the most desirable places to live, work and play.

Of course you have options. The group that officially speaks for the local Republican Party, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, has flooded mailboxes and run ads in The Press “recommending” their choices, people they deem more Republican than the others.

We say hogwash. In many cases, the KCRCC is backing candidates who wouldn’t know actual public service if it bit them in the butt. Outside their political and sometimes religious circles, many are strangers to community service.

Their opponents, on the other hand, are often renowned for giving their time and treasure to service clubs and nonprofits, the backbone of any community. They pitch in because it's the right thing to do, not because they think it will curry political favor.

The KCRCC’s slate of state constitutional officers is alarming. An Idaho with Janice McGeachin and Priscilla Giddings in charge is almost too terrifying to imagine.

The consistent thread you’ll find in that slate is a quest for power, not a call to lead. There’s a tremendous difference between those two missions, and on May 17 it’s going to be up to you to decide which Idaho you want.

In recent weeks, numerous groups that have vetted candidates — first responders, doctors, bipartisan activists, a new and far more reasonable group called North Idaho Republicans, and others with statewide memberships — have shared their endorsements. This wealth of expertise mirrors the Press endorsements, leaving the KCRCC and its derelict parent, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, pounding the pulpit for a future where extremism rules.

But don’t take our word for it, and please don’t take the KCRCC “recommended” ballot into the polling place with you on Tuesday.

Do your own research. Read the Voters Guide, which was inserted in The Press on April 30 and again last Saturday and is posted on cdapress.com. Watch candidate interviews and forums with Clint Schroeder on cdapress.com. Do an internet search of individual candidates.

Then exercise your voting muscles as a proud, informed Idaho citizen. On Tuesday, cast your votes for those who will build on Idaho's strong foundation, not those whose ideological bent will blow it apart.

Editor's note: Wednesday's editorial unfairly expressed concern that Bruce Mattare could, as a county commissioner, help remove important building codes. Mattare is on the record as saying he supports those building codes and should be taken at his word.

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