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Brandon Mitchell

State Representative Legislative District 6 Seat B

Biography & Background

I grew up on a small farm in Syracuse Utah, where I learned about faith, family and hard work. I was raised with Christian values; following the example of Jesus Christ has ingrained in me the principles of integrity, honesty, and a love for others.

After marrying my High School sweetheart, we embarked on raising a family. My wife and I have 3 children and 6 grandchildren which I adore. We have a strong family bond that will pull us through anything.

I started working straight out of High School and was navigating my way through college at Weber State University where I studied Criminal Justice. As I continued growing with the company that I worked for, I was introduced into leadership positions and I continued to grow with the company. While finding my way in the company, moved several times to create better running and more efficient stores. Learning to control spending to create profitability was the value that the company saw in me. I eventually found myself controlling 10 stores in Tri Cities, WA that stretched from there into Lewiston, ID. In 2012, I was offered an opportunity to purchase my own two stores in Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA. After much prayer and consideration, my wife and I decided to take the offer and we moved to Moscow where we have made our home. Since 2013, we have grown to 6 stores and continue to find success. The community welcomed us in with open arms and we have felt so loved here.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Freedom: My goal is to protect individual freedoms in Idaho and make our great state a beacon of hope for the rest of the nation. This a means protecting the most valuable right that are afforded us through the Constitution of the United States and the Idaho State Constitution. Freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and freedom to choose for ourselves how to best live our lives are among the top rights that need to be preserved. We are all endowed with certain unalienable rights and my goal is to protect those rights. In the world that we live in today, we need real leadership that will work on protecting those rights and freedoms that we hold dear.
2. Education: Education is the future of our society and needs to be protected. At the K-12 level, the parents need to play a much bigger role in the education system. Being able to be the decision maker can go a long way when it comes to how their child is being taught. I believe in parental choice which will give them a much more focused attention to their child`s education. I would like to see more life skills being taught so that our youth will come out of High School prepared for what life might bring. On the higher education scale, we need to control the spending on unnecessary items or positions. With ever increasing costs, we are seeing more and more how difficult it is for our youth to get a good start once their education is complete. Applied research from higher education that can be brought to market can have a great impact to the economy of the State of Idaho and is critical to the future many industries. College is not for everyone and as such, I believe in trade school availability. Our nation needs people in trades and those jobs can be fulfilling and very lucrative without the added debt. I believe that educators need to work with local industry to find out what skills are being sought.
3. Less government: Government is great at over spending and it is my hope that I can be a voice of reason within the house. I have learned through years of controlling budgets that if you come in under budget that is a good thing. Controlling costs and ending in the black is the best practice and this is no different within our government. I will fight to keep the spending in line, so we can work on bringing taxes down for the people of Idaho. It all starts with living within our means. I believe that state government — just like at the national level — has certain expenditures required to function efficiently. We need to keep government spending in line where required and then let the private sector handle the free market.

Latah county Legislator Questions

What are the top three issues you believe our legislative district faces?

1. Rising property taxes is the first. With massive inflation and people moving to Idaho, property values increasing at a rapid rate albeit unequal by property type. This is causing major disruptions to the property taxpayers here in our district and shifting taxes from one propriety tax payer to another.
2. Education plays an important role here in our district. Finding the right balance for parents to have more control over the education of their children and still protecting our constitutional responsibility is what we need to discuss and focus on.
3. Voter integrity is another area that is of concern. We need to make changes to the current election code for the entire state. In our district, the issue is with the number of people we have moving in and out of the area and the documentation used for presentation at the polls. We have the solution that has passed the house the last two sessions, but died in the senate.

Describe two examples of state government overreach. What are your ideas to address these?

1. The attack that we saw on businesses in our state based on the pandemic. Creating a law that returns the proper balance of government (3 separate branches) so that one branch does not have the power to unilaterally control the entire state without oversight and being held to what the voters want.
2. The bureaucracy that comes with the different agencies. When an agency has the power to create rules that act like laws, the citizens are not represented. The legislature must act on behalf of the people and businesses that are suffering under the regulations. The legislature is the body that is elected by the people and needs to step in with their constitutional oversight of these agencies.

There’s an expectation that candidates must explain which potential laws they will promote if elected. Let’s flip that around and ask, “What existing law will you seek to repeal and why?”

I can give you some examples of what needs to be addressed. Any law or bill that arbitrarily ties us into another state or takes away our state sovereignty needs to be taken out. An example would be the Day Light Savings Law (67-9601). This law doesn’t go into effect until Washington State passes their daylight savings bill. We should be a leader and not hold hands with another state to create laws. We are Idaho and we need to run it like that. We have different views than other states and our state sovereignty is too important. I believe that we need to take a respectful stand and protect the values that we have and enjoy here in Idaho.

A famous chant of Democrats since the 1980s is “You can’t legislate morality.” Should morality and virtue be considerations in public policy? If not, why not? If so, what standard will you use to decide what is moral? Can the “the will of the public” be wrong? If not, why not? If so, please describe your leadership role relative to public policy making when the public will is wrong.

I don’t think that we can shy away from morality in policy making. When you look at the differences in some moral policies (Abortion and LGBTQ), you can see that it is part of our society. As such these types of laws at the federal level would be completely wrong, but the more local they are, you might argue that they are right. My standard is simple when making policy decisions. I have three C’s that need to be met before I can vote for a bill and the last and most important one falls in line with this question. The three C’s are: 1) Is it constitutional? 2) Is it what my constituents want? 3) Can my conscience live with my vote? We live in a nation were “we the people” are supposed to govern. Can the will of the public be wrong at times? One could argue that it could be, however, we also need to live with our choices. The way that I try to make decisions is based on will of the people. Listening to my constituents is what I was sent to Boise to do. When I do hear from them, I also take into consideration who it is coming from. Those in my own party have more influence over my decision than those from the opposing party (after all, they are the ones who put me there to be their voice). I take into account what some entities like city’s and counties might have to say, but I am there to represent the people and that is who I should be responding too.

Substantial portions of Idaho wilderness are controlled and managed by the federal government. What is your viewpoint on this land management issue?

I believe that land management needs to be closer to home and not managed from afar. We here locally know the lands better and can make faster changes when something needs to be addressed. Like government, land management needs to be as local as possible.

Please provide an example of an emerging public health phenomenon that you think warrants further research and investigation.

We just went through a pandemic and this has been a hot topic of discussion. With that we have had scientists from both sides coming to completely different conclusions. I think that we need to look at all sides of the argument and find the right solution utilizing all of our resources. We do not need to waste time with more research and investigation when we have a viable answer. With that said, I think that we need to always err on the side of individual rights before we just jump in making choices that we the people should be left to make.

As Idahoans seek to be open minded and supportive, there is a visible struggle against women’s rights in sports as biological males use medical interventions to alter aspects of their biological gender. Additionally male and female adolescents are encouraged to make irreversible and devastating changes to their bodies. From your perspective, what challenge does Idaho face and are there any steps you want to take in response?

I think the biggest challenge that Idaho faces is two fold. We have people moving in from other states and bringing with them their ideology on many issues. There is not much that I can personally do to change that effect. But as a Representative, I need to maintain the values and work ethic that have made Idaho the great state that it is. The other issue that we are seeing is the introduction of companies like Facebook moving in and bringing big money donors with them. This, I believe is an issue that the legislature should be able to find a way to correct. I don’t have the perfect answer, but working with others, I am sure that we can find the right solution for Idaho. I also believe that we have already taken great steps in the realm of protecting womens sports. Now we just need to keep it. We need to bring back the bill from last session to end genital mutilation to underage children and use of hormone blockers. We need our kids to be kids and not be forced into these adult decisions at such an young age.

If elected to the house/senate, you will be only one of 70/35 votes. Please describe the leadership you will provide to build coalitions to get things done.

I have always found that surrounding yourself with successful people helps you find more success. With that in mind, my goal will be to get to know the committee chairs on both the House and the Senate side (after all, you need both sides to pass a bill). Building those relationships are the key to getting things done. It is also important to work well with leadership. They may not always get it right, but you can get things done with those relationships as well.

There are both Leftwing and Rightwing extremist organizations which strive to influence the making of Idaho laws. Please explain your approach to navigating these influences.

First and foremost I am here to serve the people of District 6 and that is where my voting needs to be focused on. When it comes to the extremist views on both sides, my approach is to articulate my positions on a bill in a way that makes sense, to have conversations and exchange ideas with voters rather than have a one-sided conversation. In doing so the outcomes are almost always better than where we started.

What are key differences between you and your Republican Party opponent(s)?

I am running unopposed in the primary. I do ask for your support and vote in both the primary and general elections.

Latah County General Questions

Latah County Oath of Office

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of (insert office) according to the best of my ability.”

Freedom: Explain your position on First Amendment rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Do you think these rights have eroded?

I do believe our First Amendment rights have eroded. Tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are deciding which rights are ours and at what times these rights apply. Who would have ever thought that liquor stores would be deemed essential while religious services were not. It is time that we secure and preserve the right enumerated in the U.S and Idaho constitution.

Race-Based Politics: Martin Luther King famously stated, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Also, the Preamble to the Idaho Republican Platform states, “We believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.” What is your perspective on race or sex-based politics?

I think that we have gone full circle on this issue and it has no place in our world today (especially here in Idaho). We need to look at people for who they are and not focus on their race, religion, gender, etc. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream has seemed to go the wrong direction. I believe what he wanted to see is where there is no special treatment of one race, sex, or religion. He just wanted people to be treated equal and that is what I would like to see and strive for. The Biden administration is a prime example of how bad these ideological thoughts processes are. I personally don’t care what faction you might belong to, all I care is can you do the job?, are you a good person?, and how can I help you succeed?.

Illegal Immigration: Over two million immigrants have crossed U.S borders in the last 15 months accompanied with human trafficking, drug trafficking, violent criminals, and potential terrorists that Americans are paying for financially and in other ways. What are your thoughts on local impacts resulting from illegal immigration?

Local impacts such as drugs, indigent care, and social services are putting more pressure on Idaho communities. That in turn overloads our law enforcement and other state and local services. I believe in people coming here legally. It needs to be controlled and we need to support the efforts to stop them at the boarder. I have spoken to people who have come here legally and they are so disappointed in the way we have people just walking right in. As your Representative, I would work at the state level and with our national delegation to gain more state control over the issues that are being brought to Idaho through illegal national activity.

Limited Government: Describe your policy position on taxation, spending, and budgeting relative to state or local government?

Government has a role in providing services and programs that individuals cannot provide themselves. Each year it seems that we spend more to try and make something work better with failed results. The only way to lower taxation is to shrink government. We need a balanced budget and when we have excess, then we need to return it to the rightful owners (the people). We do not need new taxes, we need less government.

Problem Solving: Describe two difficult interactions you have experienced and how you contributed to a resolution?

1. As a small business owner, I have interactions with customers all the time. When a dispute comes up, I have been able to rationally address and discuss the issue through honest facts. The resolutions are easy when honesty is involved. We may not always like the outcome, but at least it comes out as an agreement between both parties that works. 2. Serving in the House this last year, I was confronted with difficult discussions on very controversial topics. One such topic was with a group of students from the U of I that represented planned parenthood. I took the time to sit down with them and discuss their requests. I was asked by other house members several times why, and I explained that is what we do. We came out of the meeting with a different understanding of how each of us felt on issues. They didn’t change my mind and I didn’t change theirs, but we still came out of the meeting feeling like both sides were heard.

Republicanism: Do you subscribe to the Idaho Republican Party Platform? Describe any exceptions.

Yes. I would actually add to the platform under section 3. Reform of Congress that bills should stand on their own merits and not be lumped together in omnibus bills.

Governance: The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” How will this declaration influence you in administering your office, if elected?

For any bill that might come up, I look at the three C’s (described earlier). All three need to be agreed in order for me to vote in favor. As I look at what is taking place, I believe that is my responsibility to always err on the side of protecting the rights of the people. There will be bills that will pit my thoughts on protecting one area or protecting the people’s rights and that is where I decide vote for the people.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. I support the Idaho Republican Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”