Idaho Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, filed her campaign finance report, and it shows that of the $6,200 in campaign contributions she’s raised since Jan. 1, just one contribution for $250 came from within her district; that was from KBC Transport LLC of Kooskia. All the rest of the money came from PACs, out-of-area corporations or other senators’ campaigns.
Nuxoll, a third-term senator from District 7, faces a challenge in the May 17 GOP primary from Grangeville rancher Carl Crabtree, a past president of the Idaho Cattle Association. She was the sponsor of this year’s vetoed Bible-in-schools bill, and last year walked out of the Senate when a Hindu prayer was offered as the day’s invocation, saying only Christian prayer should be offered there. She serves on the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
Crabtree, the retired Idaho County weed supervisor and longtime county 4-H program manager, told the Lewiston Tribune he wants to “broaden the conversation” and focus on the big-picture issues that matter most in a district with the highest unemployment in the state. He told Tribune reporter Bill Spence that there’s only so much time to get the work done each legislative session, “so maybe lawmakers should be focusing on the big-picture issues. What are we doing about education and jobs? I don’t know how we can ignore those issues. Get down there and do your job and quite trying to legislate morality.”
Crabtree reported raising just under $5,000 since Jan. 1, spending only $372 as of May 1, and running up $289 in debt. He received four $1,000 contributions, from Steve Turnland of Lucile; Gina Turnland, also of Lucile; Partsway of Grangeville; and James and Mary Schmidt of Grangeville. He also reported a $300 donation from ANRI PAC, the Boise-based Agriculture Natural Resources Industry PAC; $155 from Shauna Hillman of Smelterville; and $100 from Winecup L. Cattle Co. of Jerome.
Nuxoll told the Tribune she decided to run for re-election because there are things she wants to follow up on. “Anything dealing with states rights and state sovereignty is huge,” she said. “Helping our people counteract federal regulations, following through on private property rights, defending the dignity of each person. I still feel like we’re losing our inalienable rights, slowly and subtly.”
Nuxoll’s biggest contributions this year were $1,000 each from Winning for Idaho, a Boise-based PAC that represents the Greyhound Park in Post Falls and supports “instant racing” gambling machines at Idaho horse racing tracks, which lawmakers banned this year; and from the Senate Republican PAC of Idaho. Those donating $500 to her campaign included Monsanto Corp.; Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill of Rexburg; Idaho Sugarbeet Growers PAC; Bart Davis for Idaho Senate; Vote Vick; and AGRA-PAC.