Voters in District 33 are lucky to have a choice between two excellent candidates in the race for Senate: Republican David Lent and Democrat Jerry Sehlke.
Both have impressive backgrounds.
Sehlke has worked at Idaho National Laboratory for years, and his work has given him special expertise in water and environmental policy, both vital areas of lawmaking in the Gem State. He understands the importance of stable, sustainable education funding. He has given his time to advocate for Proposition 2, a vital measure to solve a problem lawmakers haven’t been able to fix.
And both candidates have pledged to support the legalization of CBD oil, a nonintoxicating derivative of cannabis that has shown impressive results in treating intractable epilepsy and may prove useful in treating other ailments.
Despite Sehlke’s obvious strengths, the editorial board has unanimously chosen to endorse Lent.
Lent can be expected to be a reasonable, moderate, pragmatic elected official. He doesn’t have a taste for the venomous partisan bickering that has descended on the country, and he’s pledged to work through “compromise and collaboration.” Instead of grandstanding to toss red meat to his base, expect him to study issues carefully and craft effective policies.
Lent’s long service on Idaho Falls School District 91’s board of trustees has given him an on-the-ground view of the public school system that will make him an effective voice to advocate for local students and teachers. He plans to focus in particular on working to coordinate major employers, high schools and universities to ensure Idaho graduates can find good-paying jobs that will let them stay in the state.
Importantly, he’s pledged to respect the will of the voting public on Prop 2. Lent supports ending the sales tax on groceries, and he’s opposed to spending a ludicrous sum to build more prisons in one of the safest states in the nation.
Lent’s commitment to pragmatism and collaboration makes him a fitting successor to former Majority Leader Bart Davis, who represented Idaho Falls admirably in the Senate for many years.