The endorsement in the District 34 Senate race was not a hard decision.
Robert Nielsen, a political newcomer who worked as a set lighting technician until a car accident left him with a serious physical disability, has several ideas worth listening to. He credits his Medicaid coverage for allowing him to recover from his injuries — and he wants to make sure those in the Medicaid gap have the same opportunity.
Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill has served as an important voice of moderation and civility in the Legislature.
He’s run the Senate in a remarkably fair manner, always promoting the most experienced members to chairmanships and always ensuring the Democratic minority has a chance to have its say. Despite an ideologically diverse membership, the Senate has avoided much of the bickering and grandstanding that has become increasingly common in the House. Some of that is because the Senate has always been the more austere of the two chambers by design, but much of it is due to Hill’s leadership.
That’s one of the reasons he’s so universally respected at the Legislature.
Give Nielsen credit for standing up to take Hill on in what’s probably the reddest district in Idaho. It’s something few Democrats have ever done in Madison County, which doesn’t even have an organized Democratic central committee.
Nielsen said he was running to provide a good example to his son. He’s done that admirably.
But Hill will provide experience and leadership that can’t be paralleled. He has a deep understanding of matters of policy and of how to craft a compromise that can get a majority on board. That’s the fruit of countless early mornings and late nights working on many of the most important problems facing the state from infrastructure spending to the health care system.
Hill has our unanimous endorsement.