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Canyon County hosts candidate forum ahead of the election

Eight candidates sit at a table onstage in front of a moderator and a crowd of attendees at the Caldwell Event Center.
Julie Luchetta
Boise State Public Radio
Candidates for two state representative and two senate seats discussed their political stances ahead of the November 8 elections.

In a three-hour forum at Caldwell’s event center, eight candidates vying for two state representative and two senate positions discussed their political stances ahead of the November 8 election.

All the candidates agreed the big issues are overcrowded schools, rapid growth, high property taxes and increasingly unaffordable housing.

Chris Allgood, the District 11 Republican candidate for state representative, said cutting taxes would impact law enforcement and safety and should be considered carefully.

“There’s this balancing act that we have to do between how much taxes we levy and how many services we can provide.”

Tammy Nichols, current GOP representative running for a senate seat, said growth was the result of “political refugees” fleeing neighboring states.

Candidates followed party lines when answering questions about abortion and second amendment rights.

Democrat Robert Scoville, who is running for state representative, says his daughter is leaving Idaho because she’s struggled to carry pregnancies to term and worries she can’t get proper medical care with the abortion bans in place.

“On the subject of abortion,” he said, “I am unapologetically and unabashedly on the side of a woman having a choice to do with her body as she pleases.”

On the other side of the table, Senate candidate Republican Chris Trakel called abortions the killing of babies.

Citing Idaho’s history with gun rights, all candidates reiterated their support of gun ownership.

In legislative District 10, Nichols is running against Democrat Bob Solomon for a state senator position.

In legislative District 11, Democrat Toni Ferro is running against Trakel for Senate, while Republican Julie Yamamoto is up against Scoville and Democrat Marisela Pesina is running against Allgood for state Representative positions.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.