In the College of Southern Idaho’s largest auditorium on Thursday, nine out of the 11 candidates running for city council in Twin Falls sat on stage, answering questions, not about the state of the city, but about "family values." Current mayor Shawn Barigar and candidate Michael Shaffer were not present.
The event was moderated by Fox News Radio host Bill Colley and was organized by a group of pastors.
Candidates were asked if they be willing to consider a ban on abortions, without fear of potential lawsuits or fear of the Supreme Court.
Several said, despite their personal beliefs, they didn’t think this was legal or within the realm of city council’s work.
“I don’t believe it’s fiscally responsible for me, as a steward of public funds, to use those funds to fight a lawsuit, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for something we can’t win," said incumbent councilwoman Ruth Pierce.
One candidate, Jaren Thompson, explicitly said he would be in favor of banning abortions in the city.
In August, one of the forum's organizers, Southern Baptist Pastor Paul Thompson brought an ordinance to ban abortions before the council. It failed on a 3-4 vote, with those in favor voting to consider it at a later date.
At the forum, candidates were also asked whether council should proactively ban drag queens from reading stories to children at the library and whether city council meetings should open with a prayer.
Some candidates used closing statements to talk about issues facing the city, like how to manage growth and its upcoming designation as a metropolitan area.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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