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After 20 years, Stallings back in political arena

It was 30 years ago that former U.S. Congressman Richard Stallings ran his last successful campaign, and now after a 20-year hiatus, he’s back.

“When I saw that nobody else had filed, I think it was wrong the people of Idaho not be given a choice for the congressional seat,” Stallings said. “And so at the very last moment I submitted my papers, and now I’m a candidate.”

One day before the deadline to file, Stallings was back in as the only Democrat in the state running for Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

He said the congressional deadlock sparked his desire to hang up his professor hat and take on Uncle Sam’s instead.

“The approval ratings of congress are now down to 9, 10 and 11 percent, and that’s really dismal for one of the great democratic institutions in the world, and it’s mainly because of the dysfunction.”

In fact, he said the parties hadn’t been this divided since he served three decades ago, criticizing both the Democrats and the Republicans.

“They have polarized to such a degree that they don’t even talk to each other anymore. They have become so mean-spirited toward the enemy that somehow they’ve become the enemy.”

He said during his term serving between 1985 until 1993, he was responsible for having congress approve the Swan Falls-Fort Hall Water Agreement, he pursued legislation to help rural banks obtain a secondary market so they could sell real estate, and he was responsible for bringing equity to wheat and barley growers so that barley growers got the same reimbursement that wheat growers did.

After Stallings was defeated by then-Boise Mayor Dirk Kempthorne for the U.S. Senate seat, his political ambitions led him to become an educator, teaching high school in Ogden for five years and 15 years at Brigham Young University-Idaho, Idaho State University and the College of Southern Nevada.

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