City council elections are just around the corner in November of 2009. There is a bright, young, upcoming crop of political newcomers and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce some of them to you. We work closely with city council members in Canyon and Ada Counties, so I hope you will pay attention and go vote if you live within the limits of an incorporated city.
In Boise, Lucas Baumbach, TJ Thomson and Lee Lay have been the most visible candidates. Quieter longtime participants in the city political arena include Dan Dunham and David “Pappy” Honey. Not all of these candidates have made it clear which seat they are seeking.
• TJ Thomson is the liberal’s liberal. He is currently running for the seat being vacated by ex-cop Jim Tibbs, and has been for some time now. What he plans to run for next remains to be seen, but mark my words, if he wins this time, he’ll be heading for bigger and better things sooner rather than later. The money TJ is spending on his campaign could probably end hunger in Boise if applied to that cause instead. I doubt that TJ will ever find a big government, tax-and-spend program he doesn’t support.
• Diametrically opposite TJ is Dan Dunham, the conservative’s conservative. If you want to cut and limit government, Dan is your man. Dan has years of experience in volunteer public service and has previously run for public office, including in a Republican primary in legislative district 21. Some people will consider Dan’s style a little too blunt but you’ll never have to wonder where he stands on an issue.
• Lucas Baumbach, who is taking on City Council President Maryanne Jordan, is a breath of fresh air in Boise City politics. Intelligent, well-educated, brash, and bold, Lucas could use a little professional grooming. He tends to come off in writing sounding a bit reactionary, a quality he would do well to temper. Lucas has a bright future in the political arena, but a win in Boise City could be tough, given his conservative political views.
• Lee Lay blends in better with his surroundings than does the brassier Lucas Baumbach with whom he sometimes hangs out. A little older and more experienced, Lee could have something to offer Boise residents if given a seat at the table.
• David Honey, known in some circles as “Pappy,” is a somewhat more refined version of Vern Bisterfeldt, tattoos and all. Blue collar and proud of it, dedicated, and a little chauvinistic, this moderate Democrat and long-time participant in the local political arena is a good fit for Boise City. Given the fact that Vern has been supporting Democrats exclusively lately, if he is ready to hang up his hat and enjoy his great grandchildren, perhaps he will consider endorsing David as his replacement.
In Meridian, Michael D. Roy has a bright political future. A true conservative, Michael comes across well in person, and is married to a special ed teacher. Maybe it’s time for longtime politician Keith Bird to step aside and make way for a reasonable, credible candidate like Michael to bring fresh blood and new ideas to elected public service in Meridian. Or, voters can simply choose to make it happen.
In nearby Middleton, Lenny John Riccio is a breath of fresh air. Young, bright and conservative, Lenny is the Canyon County Republican Party’s Youth Chair. Lenny’s engaging personality makes him a natural in the political arena. Although I don’t know him well yet, Lenny is likely to be active and involved in the political arena for years to come, so be sure you remember his name.
Up north, in Coeur d’Alene, Dan Gookin is the man. Dan is a funny guy who knows all about computers and information technology. Most people aren’t aware, but Dan penned the first “For Dummies” books – DOS for Dummies and PCs for Dummies. Unfortunately for Dan, it’s not possible to copyright titles, so a lot of people have stolen the concept since. Dan is a longtime public advocate who leans libertarian in his views. If the people in CDA are smart and are paying attention, they will elect Dan to serve on their city council.
There you have it… my take on some of the folks who are running for city council positions around the state.