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Politics & Government

Candidate Conversations 2018: Harley Brown

Samantha Wright
Boise State Public Radio

This week, we’re sitting down with the candidates vying to become Idaho’s next Governor. Today, we hear from GOP hopeful Harley Brown.

Brown has held a variety of jobs, from a naval engineer to truck driver to cabbie. Before this gubernatorial run, he ran for President in 2016. The last time he ran for Governor in 2014 he picked up a little more than three percent of the vote in the primary.

As governor, what would you do to provide health insurance coverage to the estimated 62,000 Idahoans who don't qualify for Medicaid or Affordable Care Act subsidies?

Brown says it’s not the government’s business to be in the insurance business, especially the federal government. But he says that position is negotiable.

Idaho ranks 40th in the nation for its low high school graduation rates. How would you tackle that problem when Idaho is already projected to have a shortage of skilled workers over the next few years?

Harley says kids are graduating from college with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. He says he got a degree in engineering and they forced him to learn math which he never used when he got out of college. He believes kids should have an academic smorgasbord.

“If they want to be plumbers, they can be plumbers. If they want to be carpenters or long-haul truck drivers … electricians, steel workers, surveyors, these are very well-paying jobs and they can start their own companies,” says Brown. He says the academics are not very marketable and he’s all for technical trades.

Idaho has a rich, Western heritage that's treasured in its rural areas, but urban centers are quickly growing. What would you do to preserve Idaho's traditions while also embracing its identity as the fastest-growing state in the country?

Brown says he lives out in the country and he doesn’t like homeowner’s associations. He likes it out where he can be free and that’s his personal choice. He says when people are stacked up in cities they are easy prey for the government if it ever wants to take over. Brown says he’s not an urban kind of guy. He doesn’t blame people for wanting to live in the city, but that’s their choice.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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