Candidate rebuttal: Gudgell touts record on human rights, conservation issues

J. Dallas Gudgell says his record on human rights and conservation issues, and his background in teaching make him the best candidate for an open House seat in Boise's District 19.

Gudgell submitted a rebuttal to our Wednesday editorial endorsing Troy Rohn in the Democratic primary.

Here is his rebuttal in full:

As a parent, foster parent and a K-12 public school teacher. I believe in quality education and will be a strong advocate. My classroom experience provides me with specifics for improvements. I have worked on education in Idaho for 25 years. With Larry Selland and others I worked to improve recruitment and retention of diverse populations at BSU. In 1991, I worked with the State Department of Education and all Idaho tribes to improve education for Native Americans.

Idaho will need to step in and join the Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide for the health care needs of all Idahoans. I will look seriously at a health care exchange and other public options and incentives to reduce premiums and provide better coverage. I will work to help small businesses provide affordable health care coverage.

I am disappointed by the recent political attacks on women, and my LGBT friends and neighbors. In 1994 when Bertha Edwards, Boise NAACP chapter chair, had a rock thrown through her window complete with hate messages, I stepped up to help create the Ada County Human Rights Task Force. My leadership on the Idaho Human Rights Education Center Board led to city of Boise adding the words on non-discrimination for LGBT community members. I have a personal and deep understanding of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice. I am a powerful ally for women and all community members.

I am your conservation candidate. The protection of Hulls Gulch and the hills above Quarry View Park are to examples where my work and leadership to permanently protect Idaho’s natural beauty. In 1991, I was a leader in working with Idaho tribes and Boise’s east end communities to preserve open space near Quarry View, a place known as Eagle Rock to the tribes of Idaho.

As the best Democratic candidate for District 19 I will push for ethics reform in state government. I will advocate for independent oversight and transparency. Elected officials must offer full disclosure to their constituents as a principle of statesmanship and accountability in government.

Quality Education, Idaho’s rich natural environment, affordable health care and the celebration of diversity will create a welcoming climate for quality business and living wages for Idaho.

I believe in serving my community and have never sat on the sidelines of important issues. It would be an honor to take my commitment to public service to the next level.

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