REXBURG — Republican incumbent Jon Weber is going head-to-head with Republican Jason “JD” Drollinger in the primary election set for May 17.
Both candidates are looking to fill District 34’s Seat A in the Idaho House of Representatives.
To learn more about the candidate’s platform, EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to each legislative candidate. Their responses were required to be 250 words or less. Their answers are listed below.
To learn more about Weber, visit his Facebook page.
More information on Drollinger can be found on his Facebook page.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Weber: I was raised in a hardworking, blue-collar, family in Michigan. I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to St. Louis, Missouri. After my mission, I attended Ricks College. I met my wife, Heather, who is from Rexburg, and we were married. We attended Utah State University. We have five children and seven grandchildren.
Heather and I owned and operated a small business (Circle of Love) in Rexburg for 30 years. We sold the business to our son, where it still remains in the family.
I was honored to serve as a county commissioner for Madison County for 12 years prior to being elected to the Idaho Legislature.
Drollinger: I have a wife and four children. My wife’s name is Tori. She is a great wife and mother. Audrey is 8 years old and enrolled at Hibbard Elementary. Gunnar is 10 years old and enrolled at Madison Middle School. Ethan is 19 years old and serving a mission in Seattle, Washington. Sadie is 23 years old and is married, finishing her last semester at BYU-Idaho.
I have worked construction, accounting, small business owner and am currently a licensed real estate agent. I served active duty in the United States Marine Corps for four years and then transferred to Idaho National Guard where I have been for the last 14 years.
I received a degree from BYU-Idaho in Accounting and Economics. A lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars where I have been privileged to be a part of the gravesite services that the VFW offers to many heroes here in Madison County. My family and I have helped at the Family Crisis Center since 2015.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Drollinger: Being a husband and father is my biggest accomplishment. Serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Alabama was a huge accomplishment that set me on the right course so I could learn to live a life of service. Earning the title United States Marine was another big accomplishment that taught me freedom is not free, it is maintained by those who will fight for it. Serving overseas in Iraq during 2004-05 showed me a lot of people from different backgrounds were able to accomplish big things.
After finishing college, working for the best accounting firm in the world in locations like Los Angeles and New York on big clients like Caterpillar, The Carlyle Group and Chase was a great experience. Running a small business in Portland, Oregon for four years gave me a sense of accomplishment and service by giving clients great work and giving my employees a great pay.
Working construction gives me accomplishment because I am helping build a home so families can have a place of refuge where they can be safe from the elements that can harm them. I served as a temple worker for three years and that brought me a lot of joy and fulfillment.
Weber: My proudest accomplishment is my family. We work hard and play hard.
Outside of family, I am also thrilled to have had the opportunity to build a small business along with my wife. We both enjoy serving our community through our business and local events.
Why are you a member of the Republican/Democrat/Independent/Other party? Briefly explain your political platform.
Weber: I’m a proud member of the Republican party because it aligns with my conservative beliefs. Limited Government, protecting the unborn, being fiscally conservative and honoring the United States and Idaho constitution.
Drollinger: As a member of the Republican party, I believe in small government. I believe the government is set up among people for their benefit and the protection of their rights. Over the last two years, we can see overreach in both parties. The government that was made for us started telling us what we need to do. What we need to wear, what you need to put in your body, and those are not the proper functions of government.
I also believe we should not burden families and business with high taxes. Taxes should be considered sacred and only be used for essential items like infrastructure and protecting the rights of citizens. When there are leftover tax revenues, it should be given back to the people in tax rebates.
What are the greatest challenges facing Idahoans?
Drollinger: I think one of the biggest challenges facing Idahoans is the huge growth we have been experiencing in the last few years. Our challenge will be how we respond to that growth. Growth is great but ensuring you don’t lose the principles that make people want to move to Idaho, less government regulation, less taxes, and focus on things that matter like family and the education they receive at our schools.
Weber: Keeping pace with infrastructure and other services for one of the fastest growing states in the nation.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Weber: Listening and communicating with both sides on issues and then making the best decision for all of Idaho.
Drollinger: Eighty percent of voters in the last election voted republican in Madison County. I would represent most of those constituents that live here in Madison County.
I would not legislate from a party perspective. My principles will guide my legislation. I am always willing to have discussions with those on the other side and see where we can meet in the middle without compromising my principles.
What role do lobbying entities play in the decision-making of Idaho legislators?
Drollinger: I know there is some influence in Boise when it comes to lobbyists. That would not change what my mission would be when I arrive there. My mission is to represent Madison County and vote for their interest.
Lobbyists will not deter me from accomplishing that mission. If those lobbyists agree with my mission, then I would be willing to work with them, but I would let them know I will never vote against what I believe is right.
Weber: Lobbyists play a critical role in providing key information on issues. It’s important for legislators to study it out for themselves, fact-checking and using all resources available when making decisions.
How can you encourage compromise, debate, and a bipartisan approach to introducing new legislation in Idaho?
Weber: I believe building relationships of trust is essential in working legislation. Listening, patience and hard work are key components.
Drollinger: I will always welcome debate during the legislative process, and I believe that is where the different views will come out and help with that bipartisan approach that should be involved during the process.
If I were to represent Madison County, I would be going there for their interest, and I would not bend my principles just to get along in Boise. I would always be open to others’ views and my mind could be changed as long it doesn’t go against my principles.
What parts of Idaho government could benefit from additional state funding? What part of Idaho government could be improved with financial cutbacks?
Drollinger: Idaho has received a lot of money from new arrivals to the state in the last two years. So much that we have had a huge surplus the last two years.
I believe we must find those things to fund that help protects the rights of Idahoans and help with the proper roles of government and then give the money back to the taxpayers.
Weber: Funding projects dealing with infrastructure, building a firm foundation for Idaho’s future. Water, Transportation, education, Broadband, Park and Rec, etc. Being fiscally conservative with Idahoans hard-earned tax dollar.