EAST IDAHO ELECTS: Elaine King, Britt Raybould and Marshall Merrell compete for District 34 Seat
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The current holder of District 34 seat B has chosen not to run for re-election leading to three candidates competing for the soon to be vacant seat. Get to know each of the three candidates by checking out our interviews with them below.
Be sure to vote in the May 15 primary. More information can be found here.
Britt Raybould is one of three contenders for the soon to be open legislative district 34 seat B.
“I believe if you live in a community you need to be prepared serve that community,” Britt told EastIdahoNews.com. “I think it’s time for me to step up and serve the families of District 34.”
Britt is the Granddaughter of Idaho representative Dell Raybould. Dell announced in January that he would not be running for re-election for legislative district 34 seat B. Dell then endorsed Britt to take his place.
She said she is focused on three issues she said are key: education, economy and state government efficiency.
“I believe we need to be doing more to make sure that we retain our teachers,” she said. “That means we need to look at teacher pay and make sure that Idaho is being competitive with the pay that it’s offering our teachers. With regards to our economy, we need to be taking steps to ensure we have a solid infrastructure, a skilled workforce and regulations that don’t suffocate.”
She said state government needs to be held accountable for spending and inefficiency.
Britt grew up in eastern Idaho on her family farm where she now works as the CFO. She graduated from Boise State University in 2001 with an undergraduate degree in technical communication. She graduated from Westminster College in 2003 with a Masters in professional communication.
Britt began her public service career when she interned for former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne while she attended BSU. She is currently the Madison County Youth Committee Person for the Republican party. She is also serving as the secretary for the region’s seven Republicans.
“I am dedicated to going over to Boise and forming strong working relationships with the other legislators so that District 34’s needs and concerns are addressed,” she said.
Those looking for more information on Britt can find it on her website britt4idaho.com.
Marshall H. Merrell
Marshall H. Merrell said he feels some things need to change. That is why he decided to run for the Idaho legislature.
Merrell said one of the biggest issues he is concerned about is healthcare and insurance costs.
“There’s got to be some way of helping to curb costs for families here in eastern Idaho,” Merrell said.
He said he doesn’t have all the ideas on how to fix that problem, but knows there are a lot of smart people in Idaho who, if they got together, could come up with some good ideas.
“So, maybe I’m a catalyst to help get the conversation going,” he said.
Merrell said one of the other major issues brought up in the legislature is taxes, specifically the grocery tax.
“My opinion is, leave that one alone — we’re used to paying it,” he said. “I’m sure the legislators will figure out some other tax — some other need for some monies. So, why don’t we just leave — that one’s pretty fair. People eat. If it’s not out of line, lets just leave the grocery tax alone.”
Merrell is an optometrist with offices in Idaho Falls and Rexburg. He and his wife Jan have five children. Both Merrell and his Wife are from Rexburg.
“I’ve had a lot of life experience running a business, being involved in healthcare, doing some farming, doing some property development. I understand a lot of people’s plights,” he said.
Merrell does not currently have a campaign website.
After years of volunteer work, teaching and tutoring, Elaine King has decided to run for the Idaho Legislature.
King said she worked on an election law bill that ended up being sponsored by and taken before the Idaho House by Representative Ron Nate. After the bill went to committee for debate, King said she never saw the bill again until another representative asked the committee chair about the bill.
“She (the committee chair) said ‘I can keep bills in my desk for personal reasons, if I want,'” King told EastIdahoNews.com. “To me, that’s not representative government. That’s when I decided to get in the race.”
After that, King, who said repealing Common Core and the SBAC test in Idaho is one of her key issues, found that bills that would have gotten rid of those programs were being held in the desks of committee chairmen.
“When I found that out, I took it seriously,” King said. “I thought that I needed to step it up and try do what I can at the state level.”
King started the parent advisory committee for Sugar Salem schools and a lot of other volunteer work within the school system.
“Mostly I’ve been involved in the Republican party,” she said. “I’ve been elected as a precinct leader for two terms. I served for two terms as the Madison (Republican) Central Committee Chair, then was elected to the legislative district chair.”
King has also served on the Standing Rules Committee for the Republican party and has written several bills that were sponsored by local representatives.
King was raised in California. She has degrees in psychology and education and was later hired to teach in Provo, Utah schools. After she and her husband started having children, King continued to tutor in her home.
“We’ve lived here in Idaho for 30 years,” she said. “We raised our five children here and our children are raising our 16 grandchildren.”
King said she hopes to be a voice for the people.
“I’m not tied to lobbyists,” King said. “I’m not tied to any big PAC organizations. I’m not tied to any politicians. I’ve volunteered and I’ve been helping our citizens in all kinds of areas and I want to continue to do that.”
Those looking for more information on King can find it on her website elainekingforidaho.com.