U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth launched her re-election campaign Thursday, saying she wants to continue to shrink the size of government.
“We need to do away with most of the regulations that we are laboring under,” she told a crowd of supporters that packed closely into her cramped campaign office. “The wise, multiple use of our resources and property rights for Americans must begin to take a priority.”
Supporters murmured “That’s right” and “Amen” as Chenoweth quoted Ronald Reagan and Patrick Henry.
Chenoweth beat Democratic Rep. Larry LaRocco two years ago, after an upset victory in a tough three-way Republican primary.
“We set out then on a vision for the 1st District of Idaho and for America,” Chenoweth said Thursday. “A vision in which the government is the servant of the people, not the master. A vision in which people are free to do their best and enjoy the rewards that come with achievement. A vision in which the government protects people and their property and their freedom.”
Chenoweth, 58, is opposed in her re-election bid by Democrats Dan Williams, a Boise attorney and aide to former Gov. Cecil Andrus, and Matt Alan Lambert, a Murray resident.
Chenoweth said her race is being “highly targeted” by Democrats nationally. A popular anti-Chenoweth bumper sticker, which says, “Can Helen, not salmon,” has even shown up in Washington, D.C., she said.
The sticker plays off her remarks in her first campaign that salmon shouldn’t be considered endangered when you can buy it in a can at Albertsons. Several Idaho and Northwest salmon runs have been declared endangered, and some have gone extinct.
Chenoweth has drawn national attention for her comments criticizing the Endangered Species Act, including her remark that white Anglo-Saxon males are an endangered species; her outspoken support of militia groups’ right to organize; and her proposed legislation to require federal lawi-enforcement agents to win a local sheriff’s permission before they can operate in a county.
The Republican representative said Thursday that she has amended her “sheriff-first bill” to win the support of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association, and still hopes to introduce it this year.
She listed her greatest accomplishments in her freshman term as winning passage of two pieces of legislation as part of the Farm Bill. One includes seed crops in the federal crop insurance program, where Chenoweth said they had been “unfairly left out.” The other requires damages to be paid to farmers who lose crops or markets as a result of a government embargo.