Sally Toone and Bill Thorpe

Representative Sally Toone (D) and challenger Bill Thorpe (R).

Two candidates are running for District 26 Seat B in the Idaho House of Representatives: Incumbent Democrat Sally Toone of Gooding, and Republican William Thorpe of Bliss. (Incumbent Democrat Muffy Davis of Ketchum is running unopposed for re-election to District 26 Seat A.) Here are Toone and Thorpe, in their own words.

Sally J. Toone

Age: 64

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Sally J. Toone

Occupation: I’m a retired career educator. I taught math, health and physical education plus adult basic education for CSI. My family operates a multi-generational family farm and ranch in Gooding and Camas counties. I also co-owned a successful daycare/preschool for several years.

Public service experience: Being a native Idahoan with expertise in education and agriculture recommends me for this position. I served on multiple state education committees, as well as the local Secure Rural Schools Committee and South Idaho Unity Alliance Board. I have also been active in local 4-H, recreation district and church programs.

Education: B.S. in education, University of Idaho, 1979, Moscow, Idaho; 84 continuing education credits; 37 years teaching experience.

Reason for running: I am running for re-election to the office of state representative for Idaho District 26 B. I am a champion for education and working Idaho families. We need equitable polices, local funding flexibility and infrastructure for schools. I also speak to the need for science-based, balanced management of our resources.

How has your background prepared you to serve in the Legislature? As a career educator, I worked with people all my life to find workable resolutions and the middle ground. As a family farm and ranch business, I understand the many economic challenges facing agriculture, including water use and management. I value hard work to this industry and to our district.

If elected, what is the first bill you would author? I will again sponsor legislation to distribute the local share of sales tax from the internet sales tax fund. By statute, local entities are to receive 11.5 percent of state sales tax revenue. The legislation was written last year but not given a hearing.

What was the most important bill—successful or unsuccessful—of the 2020 legislative session? During the 2020 legislative session, 23 property-tax relief bills were proposed, and none passed. There is little argument that property tax relief is needed, particularly for Idaho’s residential taxpayers, who have been burdened by numerous tax shifts and escalating property values.

What specific steps should the Legislature take to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in the 2021 session?

I feel the most important issue to be addressed is the distribution of large amounts of federal dollars. There should be a point when the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, which is charged with the state budget work, should be involved.


William Thorpe

Age: 65

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William Thorpe

Occupation: Retired financial executive. I have worked primarily as a financial executive, including controller and chief financial officer at various large and small, private, public and family-run companies. Now a general contractor buying, rehabbing and selling entry-level houses in the Magic Valley.

Public service experience: None, other than volunteer treasurer for a small town.

Education: I have a B.A. degree in business economics and am a retired CPA.

Reason for running: I am running because I am dissatisfied with the liberal, Democratic representation of the incumbent Sally Toone. When I also found out that she was running unopposed, I felt that I had to run to get my conservative views heard and voted on.

How has your background prepared you to serve in the Legislature? My business experience and financial background have shown me how to get things done and understand the financial impacts of bills and decisions. Politics is the art of compromise, and in a business environment, you have to work together with people to get things done.

If elected, what is the first bill you would author? I would like to begin the process of moving toward more consumer-directed health care and away from single-payer models. With the right incentives and subsidies, I think Idaho can provide better health care to a broader spectrum of people at better costs.

What was the most important bill—successful or unsuccessful—of the 2020 legislative session? I think that the bill prohibiting transgender female students from sports designated for females was a major step in preventing the continued deterioration of morality in the current environment.

What specific steps should the Legislature take to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in the 2021 session?

I think that the Legislature should put processes and plans in place to handle unique events like COVID-19 in the future. The Legislature represents the vote of the people and therefore the Legislature needs to be more involved in the decision-making process in such emergencies.

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