October 20, 2022
Pocatello–Sparks flew in Pocatello’s City Council Chamber on Monday night, as eight local legislative candidates answered questions and challenged their opponents’ positions during the League of Women Voters’ Legislative Candidates Forum.
Nearly a hundred voters came to hear from Republican David Worley and Democrat James Ruchti, who are running for State Senate in District 29; Independent Mike Saville and Republican Jim Guthrie, who are running for State Senate in District 28; Republican Jake Stevens and Democrat Nate Roberts, who are running for State Representative in District 29B; and Democrat Mary Shea and Republican Dustin Manwaring, who are running for State Representative in District 29A.
The forum questions, which were submitted in advance by audience members, included discussions of nearly all the important topics Idaho faces:
- School choice
- Tax policy
- Sustainable water use and climate change
- Mental health and the opioid crisis
- LGBTQ issues
- The proper role of government
Each question was read by the moderator, and every candidate was given the same amount of time to respond.
As the evening progressed and it became clear that there were few, if any, undecided voters in the audience, the candidates grew increasingly pointed in their remarks about one another’s positions. Ruchti, for instance, characterized his opponent’s concerns about education as “fake news” and equated his views on morality with Iran’s legally-sanctioned mistreatment of women. Stevens pointed to his opponent’s ongoing support for Bernie Sanders as proof of his socialist leanings.
After the final question, each candidate was given one minute to make a closing appeal to the assembled voters.