Bonner County commissioner candidate roundup

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Bonner County commissioner seats in Districts 1 and 3 are up for election Nov. 6, with Steven Bradshaw and Steve Johnson vying for the District 1 seat and Dan McDonald and Steve Lockwood running in District 3. The following is a summation of each candidate’s platform with additional comments. Our annual candidate questionnaire will run in the Oct. 25 issue of the Reader.


Steven Bradshaw (R)

Steven Bradshaw.

Though he didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment, this is the information we gleaned from Bradshaw’s website:

Steven Bradshaw beat out current commissioner Glen Bailey in the primary to earn the Republican candidacy in the upcoming general election. He’s been the pastor at the Cocolalla Cowboy Church for 15 years and said he holds “very strong conservative values.”

“I want to bring honesty, accountability and integrity back to local government by presenting all things in truth regardless of my opinion, and bring back moral judgment and common sense into local government,” he writes on his website. “I believe we can do this by taking the politicians and politics out of government.”

He lists his main issues as “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-common sense, pro-limited government and pro-God.”

Learn more about Bradshaw at

Steve Johnson (D)

Steve Johnson.

Steve Johnson has lived in Bonner County since 1957 and said his skills and experience include 40 years as an educator, homebuilder, farmer and small-scale logger. 

“I am a candidate for county commissioner because I have the passion, the skills and the long-term commitment to help keep Bonner County healthy, safe and prosperous,” he said.

His platform points include more transparency in the county government, protecting private property rights, attracting businesses to provide well-paying jobs for local families, opposing the proposed Newport smelter and advocating for the expansion of Medicaid.

“I have been successful working with a wide range of people and groups — working together and solving problems in a respectful and productive manner,” Johnson said. “I live on the farm I was raised on. We have children and grandchildren who live in Bonner County. We are here for the long term.”

Learn more about Johnson at


Steve Lockwood (D)

Steve Lockwood.

Steve Lockwood said his main priorities include practicing transparency in local government, holding monthly cost management meetings with county heads to ensure smart spending, creating an informed opinion on the proposed Newport silica smelter, and promoting a team culture.

“One of my overarching priorities is that the county, cities, schools, civic and business groups work together to make Bonner County a great place to live, with jobs that pay well and housing to fit a variety of incomes,” Lockwood said. “I don’t presume to have all the answers. Only by working together with other jurisdictions and organizations, and being open to suggestions and ideas of advisory committees and residents, can some of the county’s most pressing problems be addressed.”

Lockwood said he has regularly attended BOCC meetings for about two years and nearly all of the budget workshops this past summer, educating himself on the issues and processes. 

“As commissioner, I stand ready to listen to the public respectfully and lead thoughtfully and constructively,” he said.

Learn more about Lockwood at

Dan McDonald (R)

Dan McDonald.

Dan McDonald is the incumbent candidate in the District 3 commissioner race, having been elected in 2016. During his two-year term, McDonald said he’s found success in using a business management approach to Bonner County’s government.

“We need to continue to hold the line on fiscal responsibility and to strive to do more with less,” McDonald said. 

McDonald said his goals given a second term are many. He said some highlights include tighter budget management; close management of the county’s self-insured liability and medical programs; solid waste site improvements; planning for growth while protecting farm, ranch and timber land; pushing for more interaction between department heads and the county procurement program; improving access to public lands; and improving the county’s customer service.

“We need to stay the course on this to keep the county in a position to be the problem solver while assisting the people of Bonner County,” McDonald said.

Learn more about McDonald at

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