Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador promised Wednesday to lower taxes, expand school choice and eliminate Common Core if elected Governor of Idaho, during the second stop of his campaign.
A crowd of about 80 people, mostly made up of veterans and elderly people, gathered at the American Legion Hall in Post Falls to hear the congressman speak. A prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance were recited at the beginning of the event, with Labrador promising to preserve conservative values in Idaho if elected.
Labrador started his speech by declaring his intention to expand school choice and local control in Idaho, promising to reinforce the state’s already well-established charter school system.
Labrador has voted in support of federally funded school voucher programs in Congress and is a co-sponsor of a bill aiming to mothball the U.S. Education Department.
“I’ve always been a proponent of empowering parents, teachers and local school boards who best know our children and their needs,” he said in a news release.
The gubernatorial hopeful also wants to see Common Core eliminated in Idaho, saying he thinks it sets the state’s educational standards too low.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a set of benchmarks for math, English and literacy that outline what a student should know at the end of each grade. Idaho is one of a majority of states that have either fully or partially adopt the standards.
“I think we can do better,” Labrador said.
He also wants to lower tax rates for low- and high-income Idaho residents alike through tax code reforms. He also said, however, the current system includes loopholes that allow high-income earners to get away with paying less in taxes, while low-income earners are left with a heavy tax burden.
“We have to keep every Idahoan keeping what they truly earn,” Labrador said.
The fourth-term congressman is running against Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little, former GOP state Sen. Russ Fulcher and GOP businessman Tommy Ahlquist of Boise to succeed Republican Gov. Butch Otter. No major Democratic candidates have yet announced that they are running.
Labrador’s next campaign stop Thursday will be at the Melaleuca pharmaceutical company in Idaho Falls.
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