Since I’m a precinct committeeman for District 14/18, we took the time to go to the Ambrose School to listen to the Debate of the five candidates running for Senator in District 14. I must say we were sorely disappointed not only with the weak attendance but also with the weak choices that are running for this position.
Every one of the candidates presented themselves as a conservative, although after hearing how they answered the questions, we would challenge many of them who portray themselves as true conservatives. It appeared that several of them were just trying to get elected by saying what they thought we wanted to hear. Let us give you our impression of the candidates below.
Darin J. Driscoll is a small business owner of TVR, Inc. and Idaho HVACR Company located in the Treasure Valley. Darin has little or no experience in the political arena nor has he been involved with the Republican Party activities or participated in their events. Although in some cases that might be a good thing; however, we believe that if you’re going to run on the Republican ticket you should at least have a knowledge of what your party does and what they stand for.
While his answers were generally of a conservative nature—pro-life, pro-second amendment, and lower taxes with less regulation—we didn’t hear anything about how he would go about changing things for the better. It was interesting how, when he was asked which elected officials he admired, one of his answers was Butch Otter because he is one of his customers.
Natalie Feuerstein is ex-military and a national security professional with a background and education in Intelligence Studies. Natalie is another candidate with little or no knowledge or involvement in the Republican Party and, like the other candidates, presented herself as a conservative who is pro-freedom of education and homeschooling without government interference, pro-life, and pro-second amendment. Her answers to the many questions asked seemed intelligently thought out, but again, when it came to offering solutions to the problems we face, she did not bring forth any new creative ideas.
Scott Grow: Now, Scott owns his own accounting partnership in Meridian and appears to have some past ties to the Republican Party. He evidently has some extensive business experience in accounting, but there was something about his demeanor that set off a light bulb, and the truth came out when he was asked which elected officials he most admired. I almost fell off my chair when he answered House Speaker Scott Bedke, Brent Hill, and Majority Leader Mike Moyle—who happened to be sitting in the audience.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and had to shake my head and ask myself why is this guy running as a conservative when all of his heroes are establishment cronies? Brent Hill is by no means a conservative by anyone’s standards. One only has to look at his past voting record, and we know that Scott Bedke has been one of the Governors good old boys for years. Bedke, in fact, has been one of the huge stumbling blocks in getting legislation passed as he has made sure anything he doesn’t like legislatively is left in a committee chairman’s desk drawer. As for Mike Moyle, he sits on the fence so often he is like Humpty Dumpty because you never know when he will fall off or which side he will fall off on. Our opinion is that Scott Grow is another crony who will not help liberate our state from higher taxes or onerous regulations but will instead be part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Ted Hill is an airline pilot for United Airlines and with 28 years in the military. He appears to be a nice enough guy, but he also has no history with the Republican Party. He seemed to have some long-winded but common sense answers to the questions he was asked. Common sense is never a bad thing, but I would be looking for a bit more in someone who wants to represent me and my precinct in the Senate. We did like his answer to the elected official he most admired as it was our favorite, Raul Labrador.
Todd Hatfield was the most prepared for the debate. He has been involved in the Republican Party as a conservative fighting the current administration for many years for more transparency in budgetary awareness. In fact, it is because of Todd that our entire state budget is now available online for everyone to view—something they said could not be done. Todd ran for State Controller in the 2014 primaries and lost his bid by one percent of the vote. He has been endorsed by Idaho Chooses Life and Dick Heller. We know Todd because of him and his wife Maureen’s involvement in our district Republican activities. He has proven himself a real conservative over the years and we believe would make a good choice for senator in District 14.
He has a very good comprehension of the problems we are facing in the future in our state. He is a successful businessman who understands that high taxes and regulations kill the incentive for new companies settling in our state. Like the other candidates, he is pro-life, pro-second amendment, and he wants more transparency in government along with lower income taxes and regulations. He has also expressed that he would like to see better pay for teachers and a resolution to our high health insurance premiums using the free enterprise system.
It appears to us that out of these five candidates, Todd Hatfield would be best suited to represent District 14 in the state senate. From the turnout at the debate, it appears that either everyone in District 14 has their mind made up already or they just really don’t care who gets elected—an unfortunate circumstance we too often encounter in our state.