Granted there wasn’t a huge publicity campaign and there are a lot of candidates, but the Ada County Commishes debate Monday sponsored by the Woman’s League of Voters was sparsely attended at best.
There were only about 6 non-candidate related people in the entire room. Clerk-Auditor Dave Navarro’s opponent didn’t even show up.
Written questions from the “audience” were presented by BSU political science prof Jim Weatherby in his usual dignified manner.
Answers from the first question surprised few. “Do you accept campaign contributions from developers, realtors or builders?” All admitted they take money from the development crowd.
Incumbent Repub Fred Tilman, was not ashamed to take money from developers. Al Ames, his Demo opponent, admitted to a $50 donation, but said he will finance much of the campaign out of pocket.
In the District 3 race, Steve Kimball–a roofer by trade–wasn’t bashful about admitting payments from developers, builders and realtors. Nearly 10% of his campaign is financed by “Cliffs” Developer Tucker Johnson.
Former commish Sharon Ullman said she got $50 from a personal friend who sells real estate, but does not seek funds or endorsements from the development community.
The biggest surprise was Paul Woods’ answer. Not only does he proudly accept cash from developers, he plans to spend a whopping $45,000 for the county race. Tilman’s campaign budget of $25,000 was the only one that even came close. All the others were in the $6-12,000 range
“Our community has been built by developers, realtors, and builders. They have a tremendous roles to play,” said Woods.
Ames and Tilman traded barbs about inconsistent past positions and Kimball got a long answer out of Ullman on why she voted FOR him in the primary. GUARDIAN says she voted for the Republican Kimball in the primary so she wouldn’t have to go up against incumbent Judy Peavey-Derr.
Saddest comment of the night was Kimball’s answer to the question, “Identify county departments under the commissioners and what you would do to change them.”
Kimball stammered and declared, “I don’t have a basic comprehension of county government…” He then went on to say that “Fred and Judy” said they would help him out to learn the ropes.
Not a pretty event if you are looking for changes in Ada government.
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