April 1, 1998 in Nation/World

Cda Doctor Joins Race For Governor Democratic Hopeful Embarks On New Adventure

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Coeur d’Alene obstetrician Dr. William Tarnasky is joining the Democratic race for governor, promising more ideas and less fund raising.

“If my ideas don’t sell, money is not going to buy it,” Tarnasky said Tuesday. “The public has to make a choice. Do they want leadership with ideas and a new way of doing things, or a politician who’s been bought by special interest groups?”

Tarnasky, who turns 62 on Friday, said he decided it was either time to retire and collect Medicare or take on a new adventure.

He chose the latter.

“I will promise I’ll have viewpoints they’ve never heard from a politician before,” he said.

He declined to discuss his platform, saying he would do that when he officially announces his candidacy Thursday.

Tarnasky has worked at the Women’s Clinic of North Idaho for 26 years, performing abortions for much of that time. He said he no longer performs abortions, but will deal with the contentious issue during his campaign.

“I will address it directly in no uncertain terms, from both a religious and a political viewpoint,” he said.

Tarnasky will likely face former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Huntley in the May 26 primary for the Democratic spot.

Huntley, who is currently a partner in a Boise law firm, said Tuesday he is close to meeting his fund-raising goal of $100,000 and plans to submit his nominating petition Thursday.

Either winner in the primary will have a tough time competing against Republican U.S. Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, long thought to be heir apparent to retiring GOP Gov. Phil Batt.

“On the one hand you’ve got an experienced politician with good name recognition in the party that seems to be controlling the state,” said Jerry Shriner, chairman of the Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee. “On the other hand, you’ve got a guy in love with ideas who wants to make a contribution to the community, but he lacks experience. It’ll be an interesting race.”

Despite Tarnasky’s lack of political experience, Shriner said he would make a good candidate.

“He focuses his issues on families, jobs and helping the environment,” said Shriner, who has recently talked with Tarnasky about the campaign. “He represents many of the things the Democratic party stands for.”

Tarnasky compared his race for governor to his medical practice.

“As part of my medical practice my focus with patients has been to educate them,” he said. “Once I educate my patients I try to motivate them and inspire them to go out and do better with their lives. What works with the individual should work with society as a whole.

“Leadership is not what you’re going to do for people. Leadership is what you’re going to inspire people to do for themselves.”

, DataTimes MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

This sidebar appeared with the story:

THE RACE

Declared candidates for governor:

Dirk Kempthorne, Republican

Robert Huntley, Democrat

William Tarnasky, Democrat

Cut in Spokane edition

This sidebar appeared with the story: THE RACE Declared candidates for governor: Dirk Kempthorne, Republican Robert Huntley, Democrat William Tarnasky, Democrat


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