Rexburg local seeks to unseat Rep. Ron Nate in Idaho House

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Candidate Doug Ricks

REXBURG — A local Republican leader say’s he is a true Idaho Republican, unlike his opponent sitting in the Idaho Legislature.

Doug Ricks announced Thursday he is running for the Idaho House of Representatives seat 34A. The seat is currently held by Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg.

“I’m a more true Idaho Republican, I feel, and represent the values of Madison and Bonneville counties — what Republicans want here in representation,” Ricks told EastIdahoNews.com.

Ricks emphasized some of his main goals are growing the economy and encouraging a business-friendly environment, focusing on the importance of education, and improving representation of Madison and Bonneville counties.

During an interview, Ricks accused his opponent of following the dictates of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

“What I’ve found is that following the Republican platform has you voting for a lot of bills that do coincide with what the Freedom Foundation does,” Nate told EastIdahoNews.com in response to Ricks’ criticism.

Nate also said the bills he is carrying this legislative session have originated from constituents in District 34.

“I’m happy to represent them by carrying their legislation and working hard to make sure that their views are represented in Boise,” Nate said.

Ricks is the chairman of the Madison County Republican Central Committee. He has been a precinct leader for the Madison County Republicans for the past six years. Ricks narrowly lost to Nate in the 2016 Republican primary for the 34A seat with 49 percent of the vote compared to Nate’s 51 percent.

Doug Ricks announces his candidacy Thursday morning at the Madison County Courthouse.

“I feel the person I am running against — my opponent’s values and views represent more of a far right of the party,” Ricks said. “I don’t agree with some of the things he does and some of the ideas. So, that’s one of the main reasons why I’m stepping up and running.”

Ricks said he believes Nate is part of the Republican party inspired by libertarian Ron Paul’s run for the presidency as a Republican. Ricks said that portion is trying to take over the GOP as a whole.

“I’m a Republican — I’m true blue — I’ve been a Republican all my life,” Ricks said. “I follow the example of my father who was a legislator for 16 years and also served as lieutenant governor for a short period of time. And also, my grandfather was a representative for the state of Idaho.”

The primary election for the Idaho House of Representatives will be held on May 15. The general election is on Nov. 6.

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