BOISE – The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor brought several security guards with her to a televised debate – an unusual step in a state where even elected officials often eschew security services.
The Idaho Statesman reports Janice McGeachin brought the security guards to last week’s debate at Idaho Public Television’s Boise station. Spokeswoman Maureen Hatfield said the campaign was not aware of “specific threats against Rep. McGeachin or any other candidate.”
She declined to answer questions about the security guards’ affiliation or whether McGeachin would continue using them if elected.
Idaho State Police spokesman Tim Marsano said his agency also did not know of any threats against McGeachin.
At the time of the Oct. 17 debate, the IPTV building was locked and had a security guard to screen guests at the entrance. IPTV staffers said they don’t remember any other time when a candidate arrived for a debate with multiple guards, though IPTV Director of Content Services Jeff Tucker said Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter “almost always” brings an ISP trooper with him.
Tucker said some members of Congress also have brought federal marshals.
State law directs ISP troopers to provide protection to the governor and to the lieutenant governor, if ordered. The law doesn’t provide for the same service for candidates. Marsano said ISP is not aware of any current state elected officials using private security.
No other current candidates for governor or lieutenant governor appear to be using security services to the same extent.
McGeachin’s opponent, Democrat Kristin Collum, did not bring any security staff to the debate.
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