North Idaho’s Legislative District 2 is among the most conservative in the state, and GOP incumbents Vito Barbieri and Eric Redman are hoping to keep it that way. Both face Democratic challengers in November, with longtime area teacher Kathy Kahn challenging Barbieri, and Richard Kohles, a former Post Falls school board member, challenging Redman. The third conservative GOP lawmaker in the district, Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, is running unopposed for his fourth two-year term.
Kahn is rapping Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, on his opposition to public school funding.
He was the only House member to vote against all seven pieces of the public school budget this year.
Kahn says, “Almost every vote that he makes would not be the way I would have wanted that issue to go.”
Barbieri, an outspoken home-schooling advocate, says he fits the district, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Legislature since 1994. He still stands by his controversial call for Christians to pull their children out of Idaho’s “godless” public schools, and says, “My opponent has been focused on education, and the need to increase the budget. I don’t believe that the constituents in this district even acknowledge that those are top priorities.”
Originally recruited to run for the House by tax-protesting former state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, Barbieri is now seeking his fourth House term, and has risen to lead the House Business Committee.
“It takes time to learn the ropes and learn what’s necessary to get things done,” Barbieri said. He said he has a “positive feeling” that if he’s re-elected, “the north is going to have some influence in Boise”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.