Political newcomers, Gary Marshall and Pat Tucker battle for District 30A
IDAHO FALLS — The May primary gave rise to a number of political newcomers and the race for District 30 Seat A is no different. Idaho Falls Republican Gary Marshall and Democrat Pat Tucker of Idaho Falls are both new to the stage. Marshall defeated 10-year incumbent Rep. Jeff Thompson during the primary. This is also Tucker’s first stint in Idaho politics.
Gary Marshall defeated incumbent Rep. Jeff Thompson with 60 percent of the vote in May. He hopes for a similar victory Tuesday.
“I’ve always wanted to serve in the Idaho Legislature but didn’t feel like I should do that while I was teaching,” Marshall said in a previous interview. “And Jeff Thompson’s been in 10 years. That’s enough. If I didn’t feel like could do a better job, I wouldn’t be running.”
Marshall has spent 39 years as an educator. He taught elementary education for 12 years and taught history for 27 years at Ricks College and later Brigham Young University-Idaho. He grew up farming and still runs a small 100-acre farm.
Marshall said the number one reason he decided to run is that he told 26,000 students at a campus devotional they should be engaged in local government and he felt he needed to do the same.
Marshall said he does not have a specific agenda if he is elected, however, he said he is committed to education. He wants Idaho to attract and retain good teachers and wants to work to improve Idaho’s education program overall.
“I’m committed to being a little more sensible in the amount of laws that (are) being passed in Idaho,” he said. “Three hundred bills in one legislative session in Idaho — that seems a little much to me. Simplicity, less legislation, legislation that’s clear, legislation that’s in the proper role of government, that’s affordable, that’s sustainable and that’s needed.”
He said the Medicaid gap is another area that needs to be addressed, though, he admitted to not knowing the solution. He said he does not like any of the solutions that have been proposed.
Marshall has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History, with a secondary education certification from Brigham Young University. He also has a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Brigham Young University and two years of graduate work at Idaho State University in Political Science and Economics.
He and his wife have seven children and 37 grandchildren.
Voters can learn more about Marshall at his website garymarshallforidaho.com.
This is the first time Pat Tucker has run for election or been involved in local politics. She said one of the main reasons she decided to run is her belief that the Republican party is moving further to the right in Idaho. She believes that move to the right is “shutting people out.”
“I believe very fervently that the Republican party now represents the rich, the powerful and the connected,” Tucker told EastIdahonews.com. “I represent the working, the shutouts and the voiceless.”
She is strongly in support of Proposition 2, Medicaid expansion and believes it will pass.
“We need to establish a task force immediately for implementing that to establish the funding so that we are ready on Jan. 1, 2020, to have every Idahoan with healthcare coverage,” Tucker explained.
Though this is Tucker’s first time running for office, she has had personal experience with the legislative process.
Tucker lost her 11-year-old daughter in 2002 as the result of a careless driving car crash. Tucker said one of the reasons charges were never pressed against the person responsible was because the statute of limitations had run out.
“In 2009, I was able to get the statute of limitations extended on the careless driving resulting in death law in Idaho,” she said. “That has been extended from one to three years.”
Tucker said her daughter’s death also left a special place in her heart for children.
“I want them to have every opportunity to succeed in life, just as I had with my own daughter,” she explained. “When our youth and our students succeed, Idaho succeeds.”
Tucker was born and raised on a farm in South Dakota as the youngest of eight children. She and her daughter moved to Idaho in 1991.
Shortly after moving to Idaho she began working for the INL where she continues to work today.
“The INL has been a godsend to me,” Tucker said.
Learn more about Tucker at her website pattuckerforidaho.nationbuilder.com.