The District 35 House race between Rod Furniss and Jerry Browne features two intelligent, well-spoken candidates.
Browne, a farmer who has regularly run for political office, pays a great deal of attention to the issues. He rightly points out that Idaho has among the lowest crime rates in the nation and concludes that the overflowing prison population means Idaho has "over-criminalized" minor offenses.
But after considering both candidates, the editorial board unanimously endorsed Furniss.
Furniss can be expected to bring a level of competence and policy savvy to the office that has been sorely lacking under his predecessor, Rep. Karey Hanks, who he ousted during the primary.
Furniss has spent a long time working to help companies build self-insurance pools, so he understands insurance markets. That will be important expertise as the state continues to deal with escalating health care cost. He appears to be operating under the dubious belief that someday Medicaid will be converted to block grants — don't hold your breath — but he has clear ideas about how the restoration of the state's high-risk pool could save the average health care consumer.
Furniss also clearly has spent a lot of time getting to know local issues in his district, from the impact of wildfires on Clark County to the burden of unoccupied homes in Arco, so his constituents can expect an effective voice on local issues that they've lacked since the defeat of Rep. Paul Romrell.