As the primary battles lineup for Statewide offices in Idaho in 2018, most eyes are focused on the Governor’s race. However, equally important to the state of Idaho’s future are the various legislative races around the state.
One such race that could be very interesting would be a replay of 2016 in Rexburg with District 34. Back in 2016, Ron Nate faced a stiff challenge from current Madison County Republican Party Chairman, Doug Ricks. Both are employed at BYU Idaho, Nate as a professor and Ricks as an IT Department employee.
A primer on the race before it got started was written by the Post Register:
Both tout their conservative credentials, but the similarities end there. The last time around Ricks criticized Nate heavily for his allegiance to the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a libertarian rooted ultra conservative foundation out of Boise. Nate boasts the highest rating on their voting scorecard of A+. Ricks, on the other hand, sees that as a negative. Swinging elbows and voting against virtually all appropriations bills to fund the government is not an effective way to govern according to Ricks.
Perhaps he has a point. One quick look at IFF’s scorecard shows virtually all of the legislature having abysmal grades like D- or F, while only a small handful of legislators have a high score. None of that small tribe have any substantive legislation that they have been able to pass and help their constituents with. That would tell you that the scorecard is just a libertarian agenda with little thought on aligning the scoring bills with any common sense.
One might wonder what a quick poll of the legislature and statewide officials would tell you about their opinion of Ron Nate and his fellow tribe members.
As for the results in 2016, Ron Nate won the primary with just barely with 2,632 votes compared to Ricks at 2,465 votes. That is a difference of only 167 votes.
That would seem to indicate Ron Nate is vulnerable.
Time will tell if Doug Ricks agrees.