Rep. Doug Ricks is the best candidate to replace Pro Tem Brent Hill in the Idaho Senate.
Ricks has proven remarkably effective since ousting Rep. Ron Nate two years ago, punching well above his weight class as a House freshman.
Ricks’ opponent, Jacob Householder, is enthusiastic, but he appears to have spent more time studying abstract principles than honing the true art of statecraft: careful negotiation, molding productive compromises and finding solutions that can win majority support.
Principles are important, but principles alone won’t build a better education system or help dig the economy out of the severe recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
And Ricks has shown an ability to meld principles with an impressive work ethic and a practical disposition. He sponsored legislation this year that would finally give the wrongfully convicted in Idaho compensation for the time they spent in prison or on death row. He was so successful in crafting that bill that it got nearly unanimous support.
The bill did not become law because Gov. Brad Little vetoed it, without any consultation with Ricks about any issues he might have with it. That failure belongs to Gov. Little, not Ricks. And if there’s any candidate in District 34 who can revive that legislation and make strides toward a more just Idaho, it’s Ricks.