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Longtime county commissioner seeking to unseat District 32 representative

East Idaho Elects

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Dave Radford, left, and Chad Christensen. | Courtesy photos

AMMON — Bonneville County Commissioner Dave Radford is giving up his seat to take on District 32 seat B incumbent Rep. Chad Christensen.

To learn more about the candidates’ platforms, EastIdahoNews.com sent the same seven questions to each legislative candidate. Their responses were required to be 250 words or less. Their answers are listed below.

More information about Christensen can be found on his website and Facebook Page.

More information about Radford can be found on his website.

Candidate Questions

Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.

Christensen: I love my family and enjoy spending quality time with them. We love the outdoors, to include hunting, fishing, horse riding, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, camping, and skiing. I worked 13 years in law enforcement. I worked in a juvenile corrections facility and later juvenile probation. I then worked as a parole officer for the state, after that I was an investigator of the State of Idaho. I served in the Army as a military police investigator. I have run my own investigation business, and I also do construction and security sales. I have served in the Idaho Legislature for two years.

I graduated with an associate of science in criminal justice from Ricks College and then graduated with a bachelor’s of science from ISU in political science/pre-law. I have also done some graduate courses. I am still entertaining the idea of attending law school.

I have coached hockey and baseball. I am a high school baseball umpire and an American Legion umpire. I have done volunteer work with Pheasants Forever, veterans organizations, and served in the community with my church. Last Christmas, my family and I led a campaign to help people in need. We raised around $1,500 to help people and families in need, to include helping parents with a medical bill for their son, buying a car battery for a struggling mother, and Christmas gifts for children.

Radford: I went to schools here in Bonneville County at Temple View, Central Junior High. I graduated from Rigby High School. I attended BYU-Idaho through the Pathway program, and my wife and I also were advisors for that great online program for over two years.

I was raised on our family dairy farm and served a mission for my church in Alberta, Canada. I am married to my wife, Liz, the only daughter of the late Grant and Beth Madson. We have three daughters: Rachel Olson (Jason, part-owner of Bingham Mechanical), Rebecca (Zach, DDS), Liza (Dr. Kevin Hanks, ENT) and Daniel Radford (Business Development). My wife and I have been married 42 years on May 19 (my birthday by the way), and now have 15 grandchildren, including a brand new set of twins just 6 weeks old.

What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?

Christensen: I worked hard in the 2018 election to defeat a 30-year incumbent. Not many thought I could do it. If you tell me I can’t do something, I become more determined and work harder. I was proud of the moment I became a U.S. Army soldier. When the drill sergeants told us that we had become soldiers, that was a great feeling — it wasn’t easy getting to that point. I am proud of my two sons and the guidance I have been able to give them. They are great young men. They care for others and will do well in life. I enjoyed receiving awards in recognition of being a solid investigator when I worked for the State of Idaho. I was happy that I served an honorable mission for the LDS Church. I experienced success because I stayed true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Radford:

  • 28 years as a Republican precinct committeeman here in Bonneville county. Region 7 Chair of Republican party (10 eastern Idaho counties).
  • Former executive director of Idaho Republican party. Elected State Young Republican Chairman. Sergeant at Arms, Idaho State Senate.
  • 18 years as elected Bonneville county commissioner.
  • Appointing official of the college of Eastern Idaho Advisory Committee.
  • 13 years in business development at Overland West Hertz, and former owner of Tam’s Frost Top drive-inn.
  • Maintaining a small hay and horse operation here in the Ammon area.

Briefly explain your political platform, and/or legislative goals if you are elected to office.

Christensen:I am currently in office and hope to be elected again. I believe I have proven that I have done what I said I would do. I campaigned on the principles of freedom and adhering to the U.S. Constitution. I will continue to adhere to this platform. I have carried my school safety bill the last two legislative sessions. This bill allows school staff with the enhanced concealed carry license to carry a concealed firearm in schools K-12. The most significant goal behind this legislation is to bring down gun-free school zone signs and make a would-be terrorist think twice about shooting at our precious children because he/she could encounter armed staff. I will continue to push this bill. I will bring a good version of the Heartbeat Bill that does not cower to the courts. This bill does not allow an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. I have been working on a welfare fraud unit bill. I believe all the pieces are finally in place. Currently, the welfare fraud unit is under the jurisdiction of Health and Welfare. This is the fox watching the hen house. I am an ex-welfare fraud investigator for the state. Our welfare fraud investigators keep encountering roadblocks that inhibit them from doing their jobs. This needs to end and taxpayer dollars need more accountability. I plan to move this unit to the jurisdiction of the Idaho State Police.

Radford: Lower property taxes. No unfunded state mandates. Promote the family values planks of the Republican Party. Continue to be a strong voice for Idaho agriculture.

What are the greatest challenges facing your district?

Christensen: Currently, the greatest challenge to my district is the stay-at-home order issued by the governor. I have farmers, ranchers, business owners, employees and other constituents suffering. I have opposed this order and have put as much pressure on the governor’s office as possible to end this order. We will have an uphill battle to recover, much like most of the state. I will do everything I can to get government out of the way to foster growth. My district also has water issues that I have been working on with other legislators in my district. This will continue to be an issue that will need further attention. Property tax relief is a significant issue in my district. My constituents need relief. Property taxes are increasing at an alarming rate, pushing those with fixed incomes from their homes. Shifting the tax burden onto agriculture and those with land is not acceptable either. The need to protect agriculture, the mining industry, contractors, and small business in my district will continue. I will continue to do everything I can to reduce regulation that inhibits prosperity and the free market. Government usually gets in the way of prosperity.

Radford: Our current challenges will be highly focused on recovering from this pandemic, and attaining a quick and safe return to our wonderful way of life. Having served on the Board of Eastern Idaho Public Health for over nine years will help me in the current battle to recover from COVID-19’s effects. Making sure our farmers and ranchers have open markets for the best food producers of our nation is also a high priority.

How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?

Christensen: I have always spoken respectfully to those that differ from me politically. However, I do not respond to derogatory and demeaning messages and emails. I have always respectfully listened and engaged in conversation. I always try my best to be forthcoming with my constituents and keep channels open to hear their desires. I always respond to respectful inquiries. I listen to their ideas about legislation and other government concerns that they have. I have brought forth much legislation that was originally the idea of my constituents. I put out newsletters often and ask for feedback. I am also very active on social media in order to see the desires of my constituents. These venues will continue. I will always stand behind an agenda, a bill, or write a bill that is consistent with the needs and wants of my district, if it meshes with the Constitution or doesn’t violate it.

Radford: I am at a point in my life that I can dedicate my full-time and attention to this role in office. For me, this campaign is about having strong leadership and representation for the people in my close community and district. I hope to serve on the Joint Finance and Appropriation Committee (JFAC), Agricultural Affairs Committee, or the Local Government and Tax Committee. Having served the past 6 terms (18 years) as a county commissioner from one of the largest counties in Idaho, I feel I am uniquely qualified to serve as the state representative for District 32.

I’ve spent nearly 18 years as an elected local official bringing together groups of all kinds to solve problems and work together for a brighter future for all. I’m a proven leader who has worked hard to develop and execute budget-conscious policies by building relationships with diverse groups.

What is your philosophy on dealing with special-interest groups and/or lobbyists?

Crhistensen: I serve my constituents in District 32, first and foremost. If organizations such as the Farm Bureau or the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance speak to me, I listen. These are grassroots organizations that represent the people they serve. Other organizations that are not grassroots are not as important to me. They usually have an agenda that is not consistent with the will of my constituents. However, I usually listen to their desires and then I go to my constituents to ask their desires. If these lobbyists have an agenda that does not coincide with the Constitution, liberty, the free market or less government, then they don’t get anywhere with me. Last session, I encountered many bills that violated the free market. I respectfully listened to these lobbyists, but then told them I would not be voting for their bill in committee or on the floor. I try my hardest to stay true to the principles I was elected on. In fact, many lobbyists have stopped approaching me because of my reputation to stay true to these principles.

Radford: You need information on various issues to make informed decisions as an elected official. I have always had an open-door policy at the courthouse, and will continue this if elected. It’s imperative to never forget who you work for, and the great people of Idaho deserve our best efforts. They will be my special interest!

What are your views regarding the role of the media in covering Idaho’s political landscape?

Christensen: I feel the media needs to simply report unbiased facts about the political dealings in the state. The media should keep the public informed about the Legislature’s actions and do so unbiasedly.

Radford: Free press is a constitutional guarantee that I support. I hope you will have me on your program if I am fortunate enough to represent the people of District 32. People get their news from a lot of different sources these days, and I am committed to being available to any and all media outlets. The role of the news media is vital in maintaining our republic and well-informed democracy.

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