Birth date: Sept. 6, 1964
Profession: Mediator, president of The Common Interest
Educational background: B.A. in American History, Stanford University. Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior/Conflict Resolution from UCLA.
Public service (elected or appointed offices): None
Community service (service clubs, nonprofit boards, etc.): Leadership training for various community organizations. Served in Germany mission for LDS Church. Served twice as Bishop for local wards. Currently Sunday School teacher for local church.
How many years as a resident of your city: Six
Marital status: Married to Christine Allred
Family: Anna (7) Dan (6) Kate (2)
Hobbies: Horseback riding, hunting, fishing
Why are you running for office?
Idahoans are deeply frustrated that government is no longer about them but about protecting special interests and the power of political parties. I’m running to put the interests of everyday citizens first. As I’ve done as president of The Common Interest, I’ll engage the citizens of Idaho in identifying and advancing practical solutions that are in our shared interests.
What do you see as the three biggest issues you’ll face?
First, I would create new and better jobs by closing those tax exemptions that don’t make sense to reduce overall tax rates. Second, I would improve our public education system by making specific investments in programs and reforms that experience has shown were cost effective. Third, I would work to make professional-technical training and higher education more affordable and accessible.
If elected, what steps will you take to resolve these issues?
Jobs: First, I’ll capture the pro and con arguments about every tax exemption in a policy brief. Second, I’ll invite Idahoans to read the brief and say which ones should be closed. Third, I’ll introduce legislation to close those exemptions and reduce overall tax rates. Finally, I’ll partner with those everyday Idahoans to make sure that our bill passes.
Education: First, we should take a hard look at the investments we’re now making. Are they giving us the return they should? Those that aren’t need to be eliminated. Second, we should review the investments that we could be making. What investments have proven to be cost effective here or elsewhere that would be worth making in Idaho?
Technical/Higher Ed: I’d like to develop a system that identifies Idaho students who want to go to college, help provide them the skills they need and add incentives with scholarships that reward performance. Other states have used a system like this to greatly improve their go-to-college rates.
What specific skills or experience qualify you for this job?
I’m a fifth-generation Idahoan who grew up in Twin Falls. When I was 16 and tough times hit the cattle market, I spent the summer working my Grandpa Gerber’s 1,200-acre, 400-head cattle ranch on my own. That’s where I learned hard work and practical problem solving. I’ve applied this ethic to my work with The Common Interest, solving Idaho problems.
Why should voters elect you, rather than an opponent?
I have a record, in my work with The Common Interest and as a mediator, of finding common-sense solutions that attract broad support where there has previously been controversy and discord. I have a record of working hard and working smart. Too often, Governor Otter’s poorly considered choices actually contribute to controversy and discord rather than leading to solutions.