Bonner County Candidate Forum Held in Sandpoint
The first county candidate forum was hosted today by the Bonner County Republican Women, Inc (BCRWI) in Sandpoint.
It was an excellent opportunity for the candidates to present themselves to the community. The forum was well attended by the public, and they were very engaged with their questions.
We heard from Dan McDonald and Lewis Rich, both candidates for Commissioner District 3. Additionally, we heard from two candidates for Commissioner District 2, Jeff Connolly and incumbent Todd Sudick.
Not to be left out, the two candidates for Sheriff were in attendance, Terry Ford and incumbent Daryl Wheeler.
Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall was scheduled to be in attendance, though unexpectedly had to cancel. Marshall is running for reelection but does not have a challenger.
The sparks started to fly early in this forum, with the incumbents having to respond to negative comments. They did so easily and with confidence. Wheeler and Sudick were certainly on their game.
McDonald, though not an incumbent, was as knowledgeable on the issues as anyone that has been following them closely.
Some of the questions surrounding the candidates today involved the termination of county employees, the Planning and Zoning commission, morale at the Sheriff’s department, and Senate Bill 1389 (gun rights).
The experience level of the new candidates was also questioned. Lewis Rich was a former Bonner County Commissioner and Jeff Connolly sits on the City Council in Priest River. Terry Ford has a long history in law enforcement with the Idaho State Police.
Overall, there were very few surprises today. Everyone did well, with a few questions remaining for the next public forum.
No fires were started with the sparks, but it has let everyone know that this could turn into a very entertaining election cycle.
Here are the candidates introducing themselves: