As of Tuesday, February 13, 2018
GRANGEVILLE Filings open in two weeks for elections that begin with the May 15 primary. Many candidates for state office have been campaigning for months, including Idaho Falls resident Janice McGeachin, who is looking toward the Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
“I’m a true conservative, and I have a voting record that proves it,” McGeachin said during a campaign stop in Grangeville last Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Candidates in Idaho can begin filing petitions for candidacy on Feb. 26 through March 9.
McGeachin served in the Idaho Legislature for Dist. 32 from 2003 to 2012 where, she said, she carried not only a conservative voting record, “but I was also known as an independent thinker,” she said, who would on occasion break with the Republican leadership on issues important to the public. “My boss was the taxpayer, and I made sure to listen to them on when to say no, stand up to that pressure.” It was to that same accountability she “term limited” herself after 10 years, respecting that public service shouldn’t be a long-term career.
During that service, her concerns were for state finances, stability in tax revenues and “what helps build a strong economy,” she said. Her strengths come in part from her small business development; she and her husband, Jim, own three automotive industry businesses and a restaurant in Idaho Falls, overall employing nearly 50 people.
Through their experience, she said, “I realized how difficult it must be for the next generation to start a business,” due to the current levels of taxation and regulations. As a Trump supporter, she said, she sees his administration’s work in reducing taxes and rolling back regulations, “and we need some of that to happen in Idaho.”
A concern for McGeachin is what she saw through her legislative service and afterward of Idaho losing its traditional independent self-reliance and allowing more federal government intrusion in its institutions, schools and public lands.
“Thirty-five percent of the state budget is federal dollars,” McGeachin said, and when the state accepts more of those monies it has to accept the strings that come with them. “It’s time to push back, to say ‘no’ to some of those strings and get back to our self-reliant roots and be more in charge of our destiny.”
Asked what she sees as the ability of the lieutenant governor position to effect change, McGeachin said one of the job’s strengths is having a foot in both the executive and legislative (as presiding over the senate) branches.
“How I view it is as an opportunity,” she said, in improving communications between these branches, as well as in “working hand-in-hand with the Trump Administration,” to allow the state to do a better job in managing both its business and lands, and to return much of its sovereignty and autonomy. The position is an opportunity for “increasing the economic opportunities of our state.” Among those issues is meeting the needs of the business community in promoting apprenticeships and partnerships to train and develop work force needs that are currently underserved.
“We can do a much better job; the people of Idaho know better how to run their state than those in the marbled halls,” she said.
McGeachin’s campaign website is online at www.janicemcgeachin.com .