Ahrens, Stout declare candidacy - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Ahrens, Stout declare candidacy

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Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The Republican nomination for the regional legislative seats will be hard-won this year.

Conservative activists Pam Stout and Danielle Ahrens have announced their intention to pursue the GOP nomination for seats currently held by Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint.

“Neither one of us is a slick Boise politician,” Ahrens said. “We know what it’s like to balance a checkbook.”

After her inclusion in a New York Times feature story and an appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman” in 2010,  Pam Stout became something of a national Tea Party icon. Her county job heading the Bonner County Property Rights Council further bolstered her conservative credentials. Now Stout aims to take her views to Boise as a District 1 representative.

“I think that the majority of people here have an idea of who I am, and some of them have the wrong idea,” she said. “Those are the people I want to meet.”   

Stout maintains the belief in fiscal conservatism that defines Tea Party candidates. She also is concerned about Idaho’s energy policies, citing wind farms’ need for a backup electrical system as an example of ineffective alternative energy systems.

“That’s like a man who bikes to work for environmental reasons but has his wife drive behind him, just in case,” Stout said.

Stout first began considering a future in politics several years ago. When her mother died, however, her aspirations were delayed until now. While she is committed to influencing the state’s future, she nevertheless expressed admiration for her opponent.

“Just because I’m running against George doesn’t mean I don’t like him,” she said.

As a candidate for District 1 Senator, Ahrens defines her candidacy by three planks of support. As a pro-jobs candidate, she wants to attract jobs with livable wages and reduce impact fees on businesses. In the interest of nurturing a capable workforce of the future, she is also pro-education. Finally, she is pro-life.

“I value life from conception to death and beyond,” Ahrens said.

Ahrens backs her candidacy with her experience as Yolo County Sheriff’s Department correctional officer and her history of volunteerism for the Sandpoint Christian school and church programs supporting troubled adults.

“I’m running to make the constituents’ lives better,” Ahrens said. “But no matter what happens, I’ll still be a fighter.”

Last Saturday, Stout and Ahrens traveled to Boise and hosted a meet-and-greet at the Grove Hotel. Despite their friendship and their tendency to travel together, however, they said that voters shouldn’t view them as connected candidates. Instead, they should evaluate each person on his or her own merits.

“We are individuals running against individuals,” Stout said.  

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  • Sweetie Pie posted at 3:31 pm on Fri, Jan 20, 2012.

    Sweetie Pie Posts: 1

    Your article says that Pam Stout is the head of the Bonner County Property Rights Council, however this is not the case. The Council is advisory in nature and reports to the Bonner County Board of Commissioners. Tom Clark serves as chairman. Pam Stout is not on the council.

    Next, the closed Primary decision has been a good one. With an open Primary a number of Democrats, for example, could vote for a RINO (Republican in name only) running in the Republican Primary. The Democrats votes would effect the outcome of the Primary such that a conservative Republican running against the RINO in the Primary could be greatly disadvantaged. Then, if the RINO won the Primary, the Democrats would either run a very "weak" candidate on their ticket or run no one at all. This is so because the RINO would in fact represent their interests if elected. On the other hand, if the RINO lost in the Primary, then the Democrats could run a "strong" Democrat in the General election against the conservative Republican.

    The closed Primary enables those who share the Republican ideology to vote for their candidate without the votes being skewed by those who share the Democrats point of view.

  • Bob Wynhausen posted at 12:47 pm on Sun, Jan 15, 2012.

    Bob Wynhausen Posts: 10122

    As we watch the Republican presidential campaign we are seeing a significant break from the past. It was Ronald Reagan who established the 11th commandment--thou shall speak no ill of another Republican.

    And now we can see the first, and intended, impact of the Republican closed primary law in Idaho--challengers from the right running against long-term incumbents. This is exactly what the conservative leadership of the state Republican Party wanted when they pushed to close the primaries.

    The campaigns will undoubtedly address the notion that our current representative are too liberal. I think the conservatives will quickly discover that even the Idaho electorate is not ready for their brand of conservatism.

    We might eve see more Democrats in the legislature next year.