Race for Secretary of State: Candidate Q & A

BOISE -- After 12 years as Idaho's secretary of state, Ben Ysursa announced in November that he would not seek re-election this year. Now two candidates are vying for the post that oversees the Idaho election process.

Republican Lawerence Denney, a longtime member the Idaho House who held several leadership posts, will face Democrat Holli Woodings, a small business owner who has also served in the House.

CANDIDATES:

REP Lawerence E. Denney - website

RESUME

Political and Professional Experience

Political experience

  • Precinct committeeman
  • Served in Idaho Legislature for more than 20 years
  • Four years as assistant majority leader
  • Four years as majority leader
  • Six years as Speaker of the House
  • Member and Chairman of House Resources and Conservation Committee

Professional experience

  • Worked in timber industry, both in the woods and in the sawmill
  • Partner in small mining operation
  • Farm owner
  • Served in U.S. Army
  • High school basketball and track coach

Education

  • B.S. in Agricultural Economics, University of Idaho
  • Midvale High School

QUESTIONS

What is the most important issue facing Idaho families, and if elected, how would you make that issue a priority?

The most important issue facing Idaho families is jobs, especially in rural areas of Idaho. Idaho has billions of dollars in natural resources that at one time provided the backbone of many rural economies. Today most of these resources are locked away from use. Consequently, rural communities are drying up. I will continue to be an outspoken advocate for management and harvesting these natural resources. For example, I believe it is much better to harvest timber and create thousands of jobs rather than allow our forests to stand, die, and be harvested by fire. It is not only better for the economy but also for the environment, wildlife, watershed and overall health of this resource.

In 50 words or less, explain your vision for this office.

I want to continue to have a well run, efficient office. My administrative experience coupled with the staff's experience will ensure that Idaho citizens receive the best possible service. My natural resource background will be valuable when making decisions as a member of the Land Board.

DEM Holli Woodings - website

RESUME

Political and Professional Experience

  • Currently a state representative for Legislative District 19
  • Serve on State Affairs Committe, which oversees the Secretary of State's office
  • Worked for a renewable energy company in land development and public policy, lobbying the legislature on energy and land use issues
  • Founded Woodings Group, and energy consulting firm
  • Served as president of Idaho's oldest neighborhood association
  • Helped pass the Yes! For Boise Schools levy in Spring 2012

Education

  • B.A. in English from Boise State University

QUESTIONS

What is the most important issue facing Idaho families, and if elected, how would you make that issue a priority?

Education is the most important issue facing Idaho families. As Governor Otter's education task force described in its study last year, the state's education system needs its funding restored to pre-recession levels. As a parent of two children, I understand the concern many parents have that good paying jobs won't be available in Idaho when their children are ready to start a career. As a state, we need to develop our own entrepreneurs who will innovate and create jobs right here in the Gem state. I believe the best way to do that is through a strong, well-funded educational system.

As Idaho's secretary of state, I will be a member of the land board where I will work to get the best returns from state endowment trust lands. The money gained through those lands is used to fund our schools.

In 50 words or less, explain your vision for this office.

My vision of the secretary of state's office will focus on the integrity of the vote. This means zero tolerance for voter fraud while ensuring access to the ballot for rural residents, the elderly and military personnel. That's what Idahoans should expect and that's my commitment to them.


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