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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Idaho State Senator District 5

Idaho Senate members serve a 2-year term and are responsible for translating the public will into public policy for the state, levying taxes, appropriating public funds, and overseeing the administration of state agencies. These responsibilities are carried out through the legislative process — laws passed by elected representatives of the people, legislators.

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    Carl Bjerke
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Adam Chapman
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Cheri Zao
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

1. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

2. What experience has prepared you for this office?

3 What do you see as the most significant challenges Idaho faces that you might be able to address in this position?

4. Would you support legislation to remove criminal liability for physicians and pregnant women experiencing life threatening pregnancy complications and allow for medical and family decisions regarding continuation of that pregnancy? Please explain your response.

5. Is there anything else you would like to tell the voters?

Term (208) 704-0925
Campaign Phone 2087040925
I hope to pick up where I left off after my first term and continue the good work of protecting our freedoms, particularly regarding medical choice and parental rights. I was very pleased to have had ten policy successes in the first term, and I will be equally intent on moving additional legislation forward and representing those who have put their trust in me. Additionally, having spent considerable time as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I look forward to capitalizing on the efforts made during the 67th legislative session regarding the new budget process and working to provide additional oversight and accountability.

Although I have a long history of being involved in leadership and political positions, my most recent and relevant political experience comes from my Idaho State legislative experience as the incumbent Senator for District 5. I am just completing my first term, where I served as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which is part of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, responsible for setting the state's annual budget. I also served on the Health and Welfare Committee. In addition to my legislative and committee work assignments, I was able to move forward on important legislative and policy issues, which will prepare me greatly for my next legislative opportunity.
Idaho is a growing state, growing faster than what the current economy and population will sustain. At a time when we are seeing persistently high inflation, and a growing national debt, Idaho needs to build and repair infrastructure, but now at a much greater cost. I would say, in general terms, Idaho's greatest threat is the unstable market, which will hinder efforts to grow responsibly. Integrating a growing population and providing the needed workforce and providing housing and childcare, etc. are difficult tasks when so much attention is having to be paid and directed toward a cautious economic outlook. Fortunately, Idaho has a history of sound economic policies, but due concern will need to be taken regarding federal spending.
I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, but I can think of very few distressing and agonizing decisions that I imagine could compare to having to make the decision to end the life of a child in order to save the life of a mother. I trust our medical professionals to make these difficult decisions and support Idaho's present abortion statute that provides for this life-saving exception.
I am determined to return to Boise where I can continue legislating and governing on behalf of my constituents in LD5 and the great State of Idaho.
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Term (208) 261-1011
Campaign Phone 2082611011
Facebook page facebook.com/kcrepub
We have a significant housing crisis in Kootenai county. It is difficult for our kids and young families to work and live here. Private equity and hedge fund firms are buying residential housing in our county at a rate of 22% of all units sold 2022. This and the massive influx of well financed retirees are taking homes off the market for our first time homebuyers. Our rising rental rates are also impacted by this dynamic. Legislation needs to enacted to ensure those who live and work here have the homes they need to keep their jobs and families here.
My education and career as a Family Medicine physician focused on taking care of families and people of all ages and stages in life. Patient history and resource availability directly impacted outcomes. I understand the need to gather as much information as possible to make good decisions. My medical training provides the perfect background for my segue into politics because a strong foundation of working with patients for a healthy outcome is the same as working with my constituents toward a healthy community outcome. Additionally, I enjoyed a career as a professor of Biology at North Idaho College. My time there showed me the importance of education and career opportunities in a community.
Housing and the cost of groceries are real issues impacting Kootenai county. I will address this with legislation to limit homes taken off the market by private equity and hedge fund firms. While I cannot directly impact grocery costs, I can bring about an increase of the grocery tax credits which our residents receive each year when they file their Idaho state income tax returns.
Criminal liability for trying to protect a woman's life while pregnant is criminalizing the Hippocratic Oath. You are denying beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and respect for the rule of confidentiality. Our current legislation has no respect for the woman's autonomy or the doctor patient relationship. It is intrusive and the first step toward a Big Brother State. No pregnancy is guaranteed a perfect outcome. Criminalizing medical providers and patients for imperfect outcomes is not the way to create a loving and caring society.
Being a good candidate doesn't seem to be enough to get into office these days. Too many newcomers don't know how we created such a beautiful state. Idaho used to be more open minded and more interested in community and respect. Nowadays WE sounds more like ME. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I still believe in those who first founded Idaho and set it in the direction of equal rights and opportunities for all the citizens of our great state. Let's get back to personal responsibility and less intrusive government. It's called live and let live. That's the Idaho way. Give me a chance. Vote for me. I would like to serve you, our community and our great state.