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Viewpoint: Idaho Republican candidates for Secretary of State debate major issues heading into election day

Senator Mary Souza, Rep. Dorothy Moon, and Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane debated for an hour in KTVB's GOP debate.

BOISE, Idaho — It's almost here, primary election day is May 17th across Idaho.

Idahoans across the state know we are deep in campaign crunch-time. Seems every time you turn on your tv or radio those political ads air one after another, after another. That's one way for candidates to get their message out, another is through debates. 

Debates have been a longstanding tradition in politics, a way for candidates to contrast themselves with their opponents and lay out their positions on the key issues of the day.

More importantly, it gives voters a crucial opportunity to see the differences and hear the policy stances so they can make an informed decision.          

This year, a few debates were canceled because candidates declined invitations to participate.

KTVB hosted two debates this campaign season for hotly contested races. One for the superintendent of public instruction, the other for the Secretary of State, which we are focusing on this week.

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer in the executive branch of the Idaho government. The Secretary is responsible for running the state's elections, publishing state documents, licensing businesses, and other business services. They also sit on the state land board, they serve four-year terms.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Democratic candidate Shawn Keenan in the November general election.

The Republican candidates are State Senator Mary Souza of Coeur d'Alene. She is serving her fourth term in the state senate. 

State Representative Dorothy Moon, of Stanley, is serving her 3rd term in the state house of representatives.

Phil McGrane has been the Ada County Clerk since 2019. He served as Chief Deputy Clerk from 2010-2019.

Debates are a chance for candidates to contrast themselves with their opponents, in this week’s episode we hear from the GOP candidates for secretary of state about where they stand on the issue.

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