COEUR d'ALENE — District 2 legislative candidates offered their views during a forum Tuesday night on what they believe separates themselves from their opponents in the Nov. 6 general election.
On the Senate side, incumbent Republican Steve Vick is being challenged by Democrat Dale Broadsword and Libertarian Shon Luoma.
In the House Position A race, incumbent and Republican Vito Barbieri is being challenged by Democrat Maria Andrews.
In the House Position B race, Republican John Green attended the forum and spoke, but Democrat Alanna Brooks was a no-show.
About 175 people packed into the meeting room at the Coeur d'Alene Library during the forum sponsored by The Press.
Both Vick and Barbieri touted their experience in Boise as a valuable asset to voters.
"Experience counts," Barbieri said, adding that eight years have taught him to learn the issues. "It's important to have experience, but also the constituents of District 2 expect pro-life, limited government and fiscal responsibility."
Barbieri said he believes the state budget is getting out of control and vowed to take a hard look at spending.
Vick agreed that knowing the issues is key, adding that he thinks his beliefs of reducing taxes and limited government are similar to most of the folks in the district. He added that he believes the state, for the most part, is moving in the right direction and is the envy of the rest of the country when it comes to the economy and prosperity.
"I'd like that to continue if I have the privilege of being re-elected," he said.
Andrews said she may not have the experience of Barbieri, but she believes her passion to serve stands out.
"I believe strongly about doing the job for the people," she said. "All of those who know me know I'm restless about learning and getting things done. I promise to bring a heart and open mind."
Andrews said the Legislature is out of balance on political views and that needs changed.
"Let's peel back partisan lines and truly look at the people and what's most important," she said.
Vick's challengers, Broadsword and Luoma, believe they’ve done their part to prepare to serve.
Broadsword described himself as a unionist and a "true Idaho native." He said he'd work to make classroom sizes smaller and build stronger apprenticeship programs. Broadsword said health care, education and the infrastructure would be three of his priorities.
He added that he's been a "grievance man" for several years and knows how to reach across the aisle to accomplish things for the people.
Luoma said freedom and liberty would be his priorities.
"Liberty is something I'd like to reboot," he said.
Luoma said the state needs to do a better job of taking care of its people.
"The Legislature needs to care for those in need," he said. "The whole purpose of government is to serve the people."
Luoma vowed to roll back regulation and fight big money interests if he's elected.
Green took a few moments to share his focuses of smaller government, lower taxes and individual responsibility.
The forum will be re-broadcast on CdA-TV, Charter Cable channel 1301, multiple times before the Nov. 6 election. (See today’s District 3 article for that information.)
It’s also on the city's Facebook and YouTube channels and will remain available on both internet sites for on-demand viewing.
The Kootenai County Voters Guide featuring all county and state candidates published by The Press ran in Saturday's newspaper. Free copies are available at the newspaper office, 215 N. Second St. in downtown Coeur d’Alene.