POCATELLO — Concerned his community’s values are not being properly represented in the state legislature, a local man has announced his candidacy for the Idaho State House of Representatives.
Jake Stevens plans to run against Democrat James Ruchti this year for the Idaho House’s District 29 Seat B.
In a conversation with EastIdahoNews.com, the Army veteran and Idaho State University alum said that, in his opinion, he serves as a better representation of the core values of Pocatellans than the area’s current representative, despite his lack of experience in government.
“I’m not a part of the establishment, on either side,” Stevens said. “I want to represent the people, not a party. There will be an ‘R’ next to my name on the ballot, but I want to do what I believe is in the best interest of Pocatello.”
Among the items Stevens, a self-described “fiscal hawk,” addressed when discussing his core values were anti-abortion laws, banning critical race theory teachings from public schools and disallowing “biological males” from competing in women’s sports.
Asked if he and Ruchti, who ran unopposed in 2020, agreed on anything, Stevens joked: “I hear he frequents Elmer’s for breakfast, and I love that place.”
“I have a lot of respect for the guy,” he continued. “But as far as policy, I don’t think that there are many things that we would agree on.”
Stevens is in favor of legislation outlawing abortion once a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
He is also in favor of making sure kids are safe in schools, even if that means training and arming teachers. That, however, is not a policy he is prepared to run on as more investigative work, he admits, must be done — as far as what level of training would be needed and from where funding for said training would come.
Stevens understands fully the “uphill battle” he has ahead of him, facing a successful attorney with experience in legislative work. But, Stevens said, what he lacks in that experience he makes up for in passion to serve his community in the way he believes it wants to be served. He did add though, that after six years in the Army he has seen the bureaucracy of government up close.
“I have experienced government,” he said. “I don’t think it requires any background — I think it’s almost better if you’re not a career politician and you can just stand up and say, ‘hey, I believe these things. I’m going to stand by these things, and I can’t be bought, coerced or convinced otherwise.’”
Should he be successful in claiming a seat in the statehouse, Stevens intends on limiting his time in the position, as he believes should be done with all elected positions.
“I’ve always advocated for term limits for not only our state legislators but our congressmen and senators at the federal level.”
Due to this belief, Stevens told EastIdahoNews.com that “if I am fortunate enough” to be elected then re-elected, he has set a self-imposed term limit for four terms — eight years.”
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