Losing the primary doesn’t mean this candidate is down and out


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Rep. Tom Loertscher | Courtesy Tom Loertscher for State Representative Facebook

IDAHO FALLS — After losing to a political newcomer in the primaries, one local state representative isn’t calling it quits.

Rep. Tom Loertscher of Iona narrowly lost to Chad Christensen from Ammon in Idaho’s May primary election with only 49 percent of the vote. Now he’s determined to keep District 32 Seat B in the Idaho legislature through a write-in campaign against Christensen.

“Right now is a critical time in Idaho,” Loertscher told EastIdahoNews.com. “Especially when it looks like we may be looking at the Medicaid expansion passing.”

Loetscher cited his 24 years of experience from serving on the Idaho Legislature’s Health & Welfare committee, making him uniquely qualified to deal with Medicaid expansion. He’s served for a total of 30 years in the legislature.

“It’s going to take some people who know that issue in and out to be able to deal with that,” Loetscher said. “There are flaws in the initiative that would need to be fixed.”

RELATED: EAST IDAHO ELECTS: Chad Christensen takes on Rep. Tom Loertscher for District 32 seat

Loertscher said Christensen ran solely on the issue of the Second Amendment, misrepresenting Loertscher’s position on gun rights.

“I have an A plus rating with the NRA and I have always done everything I can to help gun owners and do what’s necessary to protect the Second Amendment in Idaho,” he said. “He took issue that I wouldn’t have a hearing on a bill that I tried to fix the errors in and we did a much better one last year.”

Christensen told EastIdahoNews.com he is willing to work with anyone as long as less government is their goal.

“If the establishment has a particular agenda or bill that aligns with these principles, absolutely I am on board,” he explained. “If the establishment wants to trample on more rights or expand government; I will be adamantly opposed.”

Loertscher said it’s important for voters to know how to write-in a candidate.

Voters who wish to write in a candidate need to know there are two parts to it. They need to write the candidate’s first and last names in the designated spot and also be sure to check the write-in candidate box.

“I have a very long history on being a solid conservative,” Loertscher said about what he wants voters to know about him. “I’ve always embraced conservative principles. My track record speaks for itself on that. I would like to continue another term because we have some very difficult things ahead of us.”