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Linda Wright Hartgen

State Senator Legislative District 25

Biography & Background

Graduate of Lewis-Clark State College with a B.S. in business management; Fellow of the Institute of Court Management; employed with the Idaho Supreme Court for 23 years; formerly co-owned and operated a farming and livestock business; Twin Falls County Clerk; CSI Foundation Board; Kiwanis Club; CARES Board; multiple statewide court committees; 2020 graduate of Legislative Energy Horizon Institute; 2021 graduate of CSG Legislative Leadership Training (LLT); three children and two stepchildren; six granddaughters; two great-grandchildren.

I am a common-sense conservative who listens. I want good policy for the "Great State of Idaho" and I have been honored to serve my district the past four years. I am pro life, pro 2nd Amendment (NRA member), and very pro children. I support the education of our children because I know that will be the strength of our state. I am anti drug use and served many years working to help those with additions by starting problem solving courts in our district.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Planning for our ever-growing state. Infrastructure is very important to me… water, roads and broadband.
2. Education is vitally important to our state, and I support our schools and higher education.
3. Lower taxes for the good people of Idaho. There are many things we must fund but we must be ever vigilant in our spending. There is a difference between wants and needs and we must treat our state budget like our own personal budget.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Except for the provisions specifically noted below, I support the Idaho Republican Party 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.”

It is my hope that the platform is not used to suppress ideas and opinions. There is room in our party for conservatives who may disagree with interpretations and some of our Republican Party Platform. We must work collectively and cooperatively to further Idaho’s GOP and work to bring up the next generation of good solid Republicans. I have read the Idaho and US Constitution and the Republican Party Platform and find the Preamble to be most valuable. It is succinct and direct, easy to understand and follow.
Idaho’s Republican Party Platform gets lost in its attempt to define freedoms and the rights of individuals, states, and political subdivisions. It also demonstrates an inconsistent application and imbedded opinions of the moment. The “Oath” implies there is no room or freedom to disagree. As we look back on the 2022 Idaho Legislative Session, I followed over 85% of the Republican Party Platform. My votes and actions reflect Idaho’s conservative values.
The Platform, in many areas, is too prescriptive, detailed, yet vague and subject to interpretation in other areas. Unlike the United States and Idaho Constitutions it includes too many contradictory statements, encouragements, and opinions. It places too many good Idaho conservatives at odds over these statements and leaves too much to interpretation. The platform planks were not developed without dissension. The US Constitution has served us well and, excluding amendments, is only 4,543 words, including signatures. Our GOP platform is 5,290 words and 69 pages of rules. However, the platform has many opinions and less than mandatory references, like, “we encourage.”
The Idaho Constitution, Article I, Section 3, clearly states that “The state of Idaho is an inseparable part of the American Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.” The Idaho Constitution concludes with Article XXI, Section 20 “That in behalf of the people of Idaho, we, in convention, assembled, do adopt the Constitution of the United States.”

Some of our planks ignore the U.S. Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land. Our platform should absolutely and unequivocally provide for disagreement over federal laws and courts, but not conflict with the U.S. or Idaho Constitutions. The Idaho GOP Platform is embedded with the assumption that Idaho can ignore or nullify the U.S. Constitution, the Federal Courts and Federal Laws. While there are arguments to be made that the Federal Government has overreached its authority, we must respect that the U.S. Constitution provides the legal recourse to challenge federal law. Idaho’s Constitution confirms this.

The Idaho GOP preamble states, “We believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.” The State retains virtually all the powers necessary for local governments to truly manage their affairs. Idaho limits local government under the “Dillon” doctrine, while most states provide home rule under what is referred to as the “Cooley” doctrine. Current state authority, flies in the face of the preamble statement. I am proud to be an Idaho Republican.

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