1. What inspired you to run for elected office?
2. What unique qualifications would you bring to office that no one else could match?
3. What are the most important issues facing the community? Why?
4. How do you plan to address these issues?
5. If elected, what legacy would you hope to create? Why?
6. What do you most look forward to after you are elected?
7. What are your views on public education in Idaho and Bonner County? Do you think the state should provide more or less funding for public education?
8. What are your views on the proposed Newport silicon smelter?
9. What are your views on Proposition 1 to authorize betting on historic horse racing?
10. What are your views on Proposition 2 to expand Medicaid in Idaho?
11. Is there anything the county can do to ensure fairness in tax assessments?
12. Do you agree with the countyís handling of damaging boat wakes?
13. Do you agree with the county commissionís ongoing efforts to simplify land use codes and processes?
14. Do you support the countyís road-maintenance approach or would you like to see something different?
15. Whatís the harshest criticism you expect to face on the campaign trail and how would you respond to such criticism?
16. If you could only get one thing across to voters during your campaign, what would it be?
Name: Stephen F. Howlett
Office you are seeking: Idaho State Legislature, District 1 Seat B
Education: High school graduate
Occupation: Building and remodeling contractor, licensed and bonded
Family: Married with a daughter and two grand-children
Address: Bonners Ferry
1. I entered politics as precinct captain discussing local and state issues. In the 2016 election cycle a pretender was running as a candidate for state Legislature District 1 Seat B. The inspiration was more of a reaction to discovering my opponent was misrepresenting himself as a Democrat. I ran as a write-in-candidate and won the primary. I will represent those who feel they are underrepresented by our current elected representatives.
2. I have management skills from running a retail lumber yard as well as operating a water well drilling business. I have experience in property management and property maintenance. I will listen to and hear the different sides of issues, and vote for what is best for the Idaho voters.
3. In no order: Overdue Infrastructure repairs to our highways and state buildings. Mental health issues and Medicaid expansion. Conforming to state constitutional mandates on education funding. Keeping the markets vibrant for our agri-businesses.
4. All of the issues require a commitment of adequate funding. I would prioritize the order in which to complete them.
5. No legacy for me. I just want a Legislature that gets things done. It will take cooperation, which it is lacking now. Legislation must be carried out responsibly, promptly, and efficiently.
6. Creating a working relationship with other members. Aligning our caucus agenda and plan for the session. Completing the stateís business for the benefit of Idahoans.
7. The local school districts manage the funds they receive quite well. Each district has their own priorities that could use more dedicated funds. Money could be freed up if frivolous Legislative spending was redirected to schools. The daily per student ratio formula needs to be raised not lowered. The public-school trust money needs to be used only on public school projects.
8. I do not support this project. I will not support any other heavily polluting or poorly sited industry.
9. Iím against it because the benefits back to the state of Idaho are not large enough. It would also create contradictory laws; there is no gambling allowed where alcohol is served.
10. I support the passing of this initiative. Our working families deserve healthcare reform. It reduces taxes used for indigent funds and the stateís catastrophic medical fund would be cut by 75 percent or more.
11. You tell me. Tax fairness is judged by the taxpayer on whether it fair or not. The assessors use tried and proved ratio comparisons of similar communities. The state set the parameters in such matters. The county department carries out the process
12. A compromise was reached trying to appease as many stakeholders as possible. A good first step in the wake of all things
13. A simplification of the ordinances is always good. It solves some of the issues. The county is growing, and the types of land uses are getting more complicated and these require more detailed directions.
14. This issue does not apply to a state candidate.
15. Iím not aligned with the majority in the State House as it is now. Itís about time we elect representatives that will think of Idaho values and working people. Someone who wonít sell our lands and lakes to the highest bidder. I want families to have the Idaho we had growing up. This will all disappear if we do not elect those who represent the workers and businesses of Idaho.
16. It would have to be this; Idaho people and the government need to move closer together on all the state issues. Our state works best when we are not at extremes. In the last 22 years of a one-party majority we still need to get a lot more completed. The need for a balanced House is tantamount to success in the coming years.