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KIFI/KIDK Voter Guide: Jim Risch

2020 Voter Guide Jim Risch
Senator Jim Risch
  • Party:
    • Republican Party
  • Career:
    • 2009-Present: U.S. Senator from Idaho
    • 2007-2009: Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
    • 2006-2007: Governor of Idaho
    • 2003-2006: Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
    • 1995-2002: Idaho State Senate
    • 1982-1988: President pro tempore of the Idaho State Senate
    • 1975-1988: Idaho State Senate
  • Personal Information:
    • Born: May 3, 1943
    • Age: 77
  • Website:
  • Facebook: Jim Risch
  • Twitter: @Risch4Idaho
  • Background:
    • Risch is currently serving a second term in the U.S. Senate from Idaho. In that role, he represents Idaho’s interests on the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. His peers eventually elected him to into the positions of Majority Leader and President Pro Tempore, Risch started his career as prosecuting attorney in Ada County. In 2003, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Idaho until becoming governor in 2006.

What issues would you focus on if you’re re-elected?

I think the most important issue is the Covid issue. And once we get, once we get that behind us, I think it's, it's common knowledge that the president and my party took this economy from where it was when, when president Trump took office to one of the thriftiest this country has ever seen. And then along came covert of course, and we're in a different position now, but I mean, we had record low unemployment record, low unemployment, even for African Americans record low unemployment for Hispanics. We had a rapidly growing, wage and salary increase historical in many respects, particularly at the lower end of the of the salary scale.

We want to get back to that. Things were really good and I think we need to get the covert behind us. You heard what I said to the County commissioners? Unfortunately, I didn't. I think it's going to take the vaccine to get us there. Yeah. I'm really optimistic about it that young before the first of the year. And once that happens, we can start refocusing on getting back to where we were. We're doing pretty well. And I know we're down to 4% unemployment. I mean, there's a lot of States that were, would be very envious to get us to 4% unemployment.

Why are you running for US Senator of Idaho?

Well, when I was young, You know, I committed that I would do public service and, and there's a lot of people who do public service. I mean, we had the sheriff here. I mean, people who, who were in law enforcement, the first responders, people who run a local governments. I think everybody would like to have some kind of input in and a lot of people do. And that's, that's what motivated me to, to run in the first place. I started as a County elected official and I saw some things I wanted to change in the legislature and ran for the legislature and it just kind of went on from there. Look, running a democracy, running a free country like we have, is a work in progress every day. It's like the laundry. It is never done. You have to stay at it. You have to be vigilant like Benjamin Franklin said, you have a Republic if you can keep it. And that's an ongoing thing, right?

With all the challenges we have being chairman of the foreign relations committee, I get a chance to deal with people from all over the world. There is no place like America. Nobody is even close to us. We live in the greatest country in the world, the challenges we got today, we're going to get through and we're going to come out on the other side, stronger than we went into it.

I have every confidence, the American people, and that's who the power belongs to, will take us the next step.

Do you have any specifics on how you would manage community growth in the long term?

I think community growth is, those two terms answer the question themselves. We shouldn't be, we, we should not be telling the community people how to handle things here in Pocatello, Idaho, you have a city council and you have a County Commission that should do it. I guarantee I sit with some people back there who think they should handle, they should be running the mosquito abatement district, you know, although in, in their own States. I really have, I have great confidence in the, in the people who are elected to run the school boards and that sort of thing. We had that very issue on, on school openings. You know, Trump was urging schools to get open again. And, and I agree with that. I think schools should get open, but I shouldn't be telling the school districts. Whether you should open or not. I mean that every school district in America is different and that's why people are like the school board is to run the school board themselves. Not, you know, I mean, it's the best way to govern is the, is the governance it's closest to the people.

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