If you go by his campaign website, Idaho U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hunter certainly appears to be a Nevada resident. Though born and raised in Idaho, Hunter writes on his site, “for the past eighteen years I have lived and worked as a civil engineer in the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada.” Nevertheless, he’s spent “the majority of our family vacations” all those years on his parents’ Idaho ranch in Camas Meadows. Hunter told me today that two months ago, he moved back to Idaho and now lives at the family home, though he’s still employed in Nevada. That means he’s commuting to work in Las Vegas during the week, and returning to the Gem State for three-day weekends to campaign.
That’s certainly a different story from that of Hal Styles Jr. of Desert Hot Springs, Calif., who told Eye on Boise last month that he’d never been to Idaho, but thought he’d make a fine Idaho senator, now that Craig is leaving the seat open. “It’s heavily Republican, and it’s my kind of state,” Styles said then, which he said he learned from reading about the state. By law, Senate candidates are required only to reside in the state on the date of the November election.
Both men are among the eight Republican candidates vying in the GOP primary to replace Craig. The winner will face a Democrat, two independents and a Libertarian in November. Hunter said, “Even though I have been in Nevada for quite a number of years, when I was asked where you’re from, it was always, ‘Well, I’m from Idaho, but we’ve lived in Nevada for X number of years.'” Hunter said, “Just in the past few months we have actually moved to Idaho and I am now a resident of Idaho.” His official address is in Rexburg. Incidentally, when I reached him by phone, he was on his way to speak to some students in Twin Falls, though I reached him on a Las Vegas number.