Gubernatorial candidates clash in debate

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

The top three Republican candidates for governor — Brad Little, Raul Labrador and Tommy Ahlquist — tackled taxation, abortion and campaign ads in this week’s Idaho Reports debate.

The Associated Press reports that Labrador touted his plan to cut $1 billion in state taxes, a full 30 percent of the general budget. Ahlquist said his experience as a businessman would inform his approach to state finances, helping to root out wasteful spending. And Little, saying the state was on the right path overall, proposed a plan that would slash $116 million over its first year. In addition, all three candidates favored eliminating the grocery tax, which the Idaho Legislature has struggled to pass under the disapproving Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Ahlquist also hedged on whether or not he would sign a bill allowing women to be prosecuted for having an abortion, while Little and Labrador called such a measure a step too far. Finally, the candidates got combative on the subject of campaign ads, with all three saying their opponents had treated them unfairly.

Watch all the Idaho Reports debates online at And tune in Sunday, April 29, 6:30 p.m. MT/PT for the U.S. House of Representatives 1st Congressional District Republican debate, where Cameron Rasmusson, Sandpoint Reader editor, will be on the reporter panel.

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