One could drive a megaload through the contrasts between the Idaho secretary of state candidates: Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise.
Denney hails from north of the Treasure Valley, in Midvale. Woodings lives in Boise’s North End. Besides the gender and generational differences – Denney is a 66-year-old grandfather and Woodings is a 35-year-old mother of preschoolers – their life paths and careers have little in common.
Denney is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and has served in the Legislature since 1990, including three terms as speaker of the House. Woodings won’t have finished her first two-year term by the Nov. 4 election. Both are graduates of Idaho colleges. Denney’s background is in farming and business – with a heavy dose of politics. Woodings has used her degree to launch public relations and development companies, and now helps her husband, Ryan, manage the couple’s Boise high-tech startup.
Denney touts his “experience.” Woodings leads with her ability to co-manage a business she says is similar in staff size to the Secretary of State’s Office.
We made our decision to endorse Woodings without regard to either candidate’s “experience,” simply because we don’t believe it is very applicable. We are more concerned about their impartiality running elections, monitoring campaign finances and lobbyists, and managing Idaho interests on the Land Board.
Our concerns about Denney revolve around past partisan dealings and future plans to tinker with voting. Denney’s failure as speaker to take action against former Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who stole state timber and refused to pay $600,000 in back state and federal taxes, has us questioning his impartiality.