Nez Perce County candidates square off in public forum

LEWISTON, ID - Nez Perce County candidates running for a position in the November General Election addressed the community Tuesday night in Lewiston in a public candidate forum.

It was a civil debate, as some candidates said at the conclusion of the two hour long public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Lewis-Clark Valley, Lewis-Clark State College and the City of Lewiston. The first round of questions was directed to all 10 candidates, who were asked to share their reason for running for their respective positions.

"To me things are broken, things are broken down in Boise, we have a legislature made up of people who don't like to listen to each other, and I've spent my summer out talking with folks on street, and they're a little fed up with it," said candidate for Democratic District Six Idaho State Representative Pete Gertonson.

"I'm motivated by the desire to represent all of the communities of our new district, that's Lewis and Nez Perce Counties, bring my skills, my experience and my proven record to the house of representatives," said candidate for Republican District Six Idaho State Representative Thyra Stevenson.

As the debate continued, state Senate and House position candidates were asked if they would or would not vote for legislation supporting taxing higher income earners. Idaho State Senate candidate Dan Johnson said he does not support an increase, arguing that tax revenues to date in the State of Idaho are running ahead of projections. His opponent John Bradbury disagrees that an increase is not needed.

"It's not punishing them, it's just having them pay the same share that we do," said Bradbury. "It's a matter of fairness, it's not a matter of punishing, and they should be paying their part. They get the advantage of education, they get the advantage of infrastructure and they don't pay for."

The two-hour forum went on to address a series of questions, including whether or not the state House and Senate candidates would support an independent ethics process and greater transparency if opposed by legislative leadership. The remainder of the forum is available for viewing on Channel 13 and will play every day until the election.

Below is a listing of the Nez Perce County candidate debate air times:

Tuesday 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday 4:00 p.m.
Friday 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.