IDAHO — Several lawmakers will face incumbent challengers this election cycle after the statewide redistricting processredefined their base — including two multi-term senators vying for one seat in District 14.
Incumbents Sen. C. Scott Grow and Sen. Steven Thayn are also up against newcomer Katie Donahue in the Republican primary race.
Sen. C. Scott Grow
Sen. C. Scott Grow, an Eagle resident, is running for his fourth term in the Idaho Senate. Before taking office, Grow was a full-time certified public accountant (CPA) who served on the West Ada school board and acted as treasurer on several political campaigns.
If reelected, Grow said his top priorities would include:
- Expanding school choice opportunities
- Continue investing in transportation infrastructure
- Lower property taxes
Grow has eight children who received home-school, public, and private school education. He said their family believes their parents' should be able to "choose a venue that's best for them."
"We have to give whatever support we can from the state to help with the funding for those issues," Grow said. "(To) make sure parents are happy with where their kids are, and what they're learning."
This year, the legislature approved more than $250 million for Idaho's road and bridge infrastructure projects. Several projects receiving funding are in or around Grow's district, including:
- Extending Highway 44 and 16
- Widening Highway 26
Related: Local infrastructure experts detail Idaho infrastructure needs
Grow said he wants to help commit more money to improve the Gem State's infrastructure if reelected.
"We gave the cities and counties $200 million for roads. We hadn't done that kind of thing before," he said. "That's the kind of thing where we could continue to support the infrastructure at a local level so that it doesn't become a heavy property tax burden on the homeowners."
Watch the full interview, here:
Sen. Steven Thayn
Sen. Steven Thayn from Emmett is a seasoned lawmaker, going on his sixteen-year as a state official. Now, he's running for his sixth term in the Idaho Senate.
If reelected, Thayn said his top three priorities would be:
- Expand and add to Idaho's educational opportunities
- Address pitfalls in the state's low-income nutrition assistance program
- Review the state's health insurance coverage
Thayn, a former educator and farmer, has primarily focused on education throughout his tenure.
"The education system should give parents choices so they can access it on their terms," he said. "That's what we've been moving toward and what I've been trying to do for 16 years."
Thayn pointed to the Advanced Opportunities Scholarship, which provides Idaho students in K-12 public schools $4,125 to take upper-level, dual credit, or career technical courses and AP exams, as one of his major successes.
Idaho's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides individuals living below the federal poverty levelextra money to buy groceries. If reelected, Thayn said lawmakers should look at ways to better support people transitioning out of the program who are still financially unstable.
"You come off food stamps at about 146% of the federal poverty level. We need to help them get up to 180% or 200%," Thayn said. "So they can really survive and thrive on their own."
Watch the full interview here:
Related: House panel approves full-day kindergarten legislation
Idaho News 6 reached out to Katie Donahue for an interview. However, after initially agreeing, she did not respond to multiple inquiries.