Lori McCann

State Representative Legislative District 6 Seat A

Biography & Background

Greetings! I have lived in Idaho for almost 50 years. I am a graduate of the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Education. My husband, Bill, Jr., and I have 4 children and 11 grandchildren, all of whom I adore. I have worked along-side my husband for 44 years to run their law practice, their corporation that consists of a cattle ranch, commercial real estate development and a partnership that includes commercial and residential rentals. In addition to my work in the legal field, and running our family businesses, I spent over 15 years teaching Paralegal and Legal Assistant students at Lewis Clark State College, in Lewiston.

I believe in hard work and will not shy away from getting the job done. I am a hands-on cattlewoman, driving a semi to haul hay, or move cattle from town to the mountain pastures. I am the family’s chief brander and work along with my family to get the ranching duties done. In addition to my busy day-to-day life, I am completing my 1st term as a Representative in the Idaho House. I serve on the Education, Commerce and Human Resources, and Agricultural Affairs Committees. It has been a great honor to serve the people.

In addition, I serve as the President of the Foundation Board for Lewis Clark State College, am a member of the Board of Directors of Idaho Business for Education and am a member of the Board for the Idaho Community Foundation.

I am a past President of the Idaho Association of Legal Professionals, and past National Director for the National Association of Legal professionals.

My background in the legal field, in education, in agriculture, and in business, will allow me to work directly in all of these areas to find practical solutions to the problems that directly affect the lives of those living, working, and raising families in one of the most beautiful areas of our State, District 6. With your help, my practical, common-sense, hard work approach to finding solutions, along with my proven leadership skills, I will work tirelessly to serve the people of Idaho and in particular, those in District 6.

I will stand with you and will not allow my fundamental values to be compromised by outside interests when making decisions for you…YOU deserve better than that and I can say with confidence, that I will be a voice of reason, a voice that will listen, and a voice that will fight for Stronger Agriculture, Stronger Education, and Stronger Business policies, all for a Stronger Idaho.


Top 3 Issues:

1. As I have talked with people around the State, the #1 issue that comes up is that of Idaho’s Property Tax Structure. The 3-legged stool as they say is about to topple. We simply cannot sustain the track we are on. We continually ask our property owners to take on more and more, which has pushed us to the breaking point. Property owners need relief. We cannot simply shift the burden to the other legs of the stool or we will topple in another direction. We MUST bring the stakeholders to the table and find practical, sensible, and affordable solutions to this problem. If we work collaboratively, listen to one another, and dig deep, I know we can find these solutions. I understand this problem, I am a property owner like many of you, and know the struggles we all face. Together, we can make a difference!
2. Idaho has seen the fastest growth in the Country over the last 2 years. While this can be seen both as a blessing and a curse, we MUST address this growth and how it is affecting our agriculture lands, our water supply, and our schools. With ag lands depleting with every new subdivision coming in to accommodate the growing populations in the North, South and Eastern portions of our state, we must take the time to address how we balance the needs of growth to the need to protect our farm lands, our natural resources, including water usage, and building adequate schools to fit the needs of our growing populations. With my experiences in Agriculture, Education, and Business, I have the background and knowledge to be a player at the table to figure out strategies for our great State moving forward. There is no single answer to this problem, and it will take many individuals willing to work together to find common ground, to find the right solutions for all of Idaho. Together, we can make a difference!
3. There has never been a more important time in Idaho’s political history than NOW to get involved in the process. With the many out of state interests we are seeing and the sharp extremists on both sides of the aisle, IDAHO needs you more than ever to grab your family and friends to come to the polls to vote. This is a top issue because Idaho is at a political crossroads. It is imperative that we get and keep practical, sensible, and ethical people in our Legislative body who will stand strong for Idaho’s Public Educational Choices, its deep-rooted history in strong agriculture and natural resources, for a strong business sector, and for our Idaho way of life. I am one of those Legislators who does stand strong for a better Idaho! A vote for Lori McCann is a vote for Stronger Education, Stronger Agriculture, and Stronger Business, all for a Stronger Idaho! Together, we will make a difference!

Latah county Legislator Questions

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

Real Property Taxes. As I have talked with people around the State, the #1 issue that comes up is that of Idaho’s property tax structure. The 3-legged stool as they say is about to topple. We simply cannot sustain the track we are on. We continually ask our property owners to take on more and more, which has pushed us to the breaking point. Property owners need relief. We cannot simply shift the burden to the other legs of the tax stool or we will topple in another direction. We MUST bring the stakeholders to the table and find practical, sensible, and affordable solutions to this problem. If we work collaboratively, listen to one another, and dig deep, I know we can find these solutions. I understand this problem, I am a property owner like many of you, and know the struggles we all face. Together, we can make a difference! Education: Education is paramount for a strong successful state. We must work together to find solutions and opportunities that work for Idaho families to ensure we have a pipeline of educated students that are workforce ready. To set young students up for success, we must work to strengthen the relationship among parents, teachers, and administrators. If the role and responsibility of parents in the educational process is enhanced, more meaningful opportunities for parent engagement will ensue. Parent participation is key in student success at all levels. In addition, I fiercely advocate for Career and Technical educational opportunities for our middle school and high school students. If a student begins earlier in their educational journey to see the opportunities available for a meaningful career, I believe we will better prepare our students for their decision to go on to a traditional college experience, a college CTE program, or to take their workforce ready skills directly to the job market. Having more opportunities at an earlier age will result in graduates who have post-secondary credentials and who are workforce ready. Rural Idaho: District 6 is in the heart of “Rural Idaho.” Our roots in agriculture run deep and wide! It is imperative for our way of life here in District 6, that we work together to find solutions to our increasing home prices, our low wages, and our ageing populations. These all add to the pressures we will continue to face in our small rural communities. We must work to balance the need for growth with the need to retain our farm lands.

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

The first example that comes to mind is when our Administrative Agencies overstep their boundaries and make temporary rules that become more like “law.” The Legislature creates the agencies with a mission and the agencies create the rules to implement the mission. Sometimes those lines are blurred and we must continue to review the rules promulgated by these agencies to ensure the mission is being carried out properly, fairly, and equitably and that the agencies are staying in their proper lane. In addition, we MUST continually look for ways to reduce the regulations that agencies have put in place. An example would be the DEQ or the Dept. of H & W. These huge agencies have 100s, maybe 1,000s of rules/regulations that should be reviewed to reduce the bureaucracy that bogs down the system and makes it very difficult for our citizens to navigate, and to reduce the costs of running these agencies. Simply adding and growing our government is not a sustainable solution. Second, I am an advocate for local control. The closer the laws are to the people the better. When the State legislature attempts to legislate what our local school boards, city councils, county commissions, etc., are supposed to do, I believe the state is overreaching its authority. Idahoans often complain about the Federal Government meddling in Idaho’s business and I too believe that the State Legislature should allow local governments to run their own cities, counties, and school boards.

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?”

a. There are many laws that should be eliminated. One that I have been involved in for several years, prior to my appointment to the Legislature, is the Licensure process of Idaho’s liquor licenses. The current law is antiquated and inhibits economic growth for our smaller communities. A prime example is happening currently in Nez Perce County. There has been 1 new liquor license issued in approx. 40 years. Nez Perce County has not grown like other areas in Idaho and therefore when a new restaurant desires to move into the County, but finds it cannot get a liquor license, they locate elsewhere. This is happening all across our great state. Finding workable, common-sense solutions that balance the need for growth with the need to regulate will help solve this challenge. We need to level the playing field for our smaller rural communities so they too can see economic growth by bringing in new businesses. In addition, liquor licenses were never meant to be a “property right” that is transferrable to the highest bidder. This situation has created a conundrum for the legislature. Some licenses have been purchased for $300,000+ and we must deal with this issue at the same time. The Legislature has created this problem and it will only get worse if we do not deal with it. Please do not get me wrong, I am NOT advocating for a tavern and bar on every corner, but a common-sense approach to allow for economic growth in our smaller communities. b. Another area of law that MUST be dealt with is our real property tax laws. Property owners have taken the brunt of tax increases for years and it is time for the legislature to take action to fix the problem. This is an issue that can be fixed. We need to bring legislators, county assessors, treasurers, taxpayers, state tax commission folks, and other interested parties to discuss the issue and come up with possible solutions.

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.

No matter what any party says, Morality has long been a part of public policy. Public morality is simply the moral and ethical standards that society expects from its citizens. An example could be the crime of prostitution, child pornography, illegal drug use, or something we are seeing right now, illegal immigration. We as a society have set morals, standards, and ethics by which we want our friends and neighbors to follow. Prostitution was once legal but society decided it was a moral issue and the laws were changed. The problem occurs when society begins to change and evolve, and one group embraces change and the other group does not. Then morality, which is very personal to each one of us, is challenged. We see this as legislators all the time. As republicans we embrace a more conservative view of morality based on Judea-Christian values. In making moral decisions, I will always look for guidance from my Christian upbringing and what my constituents are asking me to do. If we are to make “good” policy, we MUST communicate better, listen better, and try to understand one another and where we are all coming from. If we do this, we will get much better policy. You ask if the will of the public can be wrong and how my leadership ability might impact the policy making when the public will is wrong. If a small group of individuals become radicalized and fall away from what society has set for its norms, we have a problem. If this group becomes large enough, then we might begin to see the norms shift. I might view this radicalized group as 100% wrong and try to stop any changes. This is certainly a difficult topic for all of us, but we need to set aside our differences and work collaboratively, particularly if the disagreement is coming from within the same party. My leadership skills and problem-solving experiences helping our legal clients solve problems, have given me a skill-set that will help me help others solve the issue. Moral issues will always be difficult decisions because morality is so personal to each one of us and is reflected in how we were raised and the values and morals that the “family unit” had.

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

I believe the state is better positioned to manage and to understand the lands within its borders. However, if we were to take over the millions of acres of land currently held by the Federal Government, it would be quite costly. Before this could happen Idahoans need to understand the costs associated with management in terms of our labor shortages, fire protection and prevention, forest management, etc.

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

We have a health crisis in this Country stemming from opioid addictions now further complicated by the large amounts of fentanyl coming into our Country. Illegal use of opioids, now laced with fentanyl is causing great harm and damage to not only our youth, but millions of adults. This issue is not a simple one and will take collaboration from many constituencies, from law enforcement, healthcare professionals, mental health professionals, court personnel, and many others to address.

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?

This issue relates directly to the question asked above regarding “regulating morality.” My personal views are based on my upbringing and the fact that I was a female athlete playing multiple sports throughout high school. When women are faced with competing against a biological male in a sport requiring agility and strength, women are stating they simply cannot compete with the biological male. Women’s sports were added to solve a discrimination problem where women did not have the same opportunities as men in the sports arena and this is bringing this issue back to the forefront. I do not believe a biological transgender male should be allowed to compete in women’s sports. As to the second part of the question, I am not sure who we are assuming are “Encouraging” adolescents to make irreversible and devastating changes to their bodies? Are we referring to “society?” I have raised 4 children and 2 grandchildren, and never once did any of the 6 feel pressured or encouraged to alter their bodies. I do believe society has become more tolerant to these issues and I fear that some decisions might be made for the wrong reasons. These issues will continue to cause challenges for our Idaho Legislature. Do we regulate hormone therapy to only adults, or do we allow young adults, along with their parents, and doctors to make these decisions? These are certainly challenges and ones we will continually face. As a state, Idaho is Conservative, and I believe a conservative approach must be taken when making these decisions.

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.

As a freshman Legislator, it didn’t take long to see that without collaboration, hard-work, understanding, and working with all stakeholders, legislation will NOT get passed. When one faction digs its heals in and refuses to negotiate, compromise, or even discuss all sides to an issue, there will be no movement, and nothing will be accomplished. I am a consensus builder and a problem-solver. I have had a great deal of leadership experience, and experience working with great people from all walks of life. I will take these personal experiences and apply them to getting things accomplished. I was raised by a football coach father, and a conservative Lutheran mother, who both taught me that to succeed one is never allowed to give up. I see so much potential to help District 6 but we need collaboration among other Legislators to get it done. I would like to form a coalition of sorts with the North Central and North Idaho Legislators to look at issues that affect all of us. If we collaborate as a team we will be a stronger voice for better roads, better schools, and making sure Northern Idaho receives its fair share of the pie. To do this, we must come together for the common good of Northern Idaho. We will have to set aside our differences, come to the table with an open mind to accomplish our goals.

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.

Every day outside organizations attempt to influence the decisions of legislators. Organizations score bills negatively or positively based on what the organization believes to be right. These organizations have not been elected or appointed for that matter to represent the people. These organizations represent a faction of the people, perhaps business, agriculture, natural resources, or education. These organizations give us a resource to understand what is important to these industries. I appreciate knowing how a particular industry feels about an issue, but I have to make decisions based on what is important to the people in our District and what our people feel is right. As legislators, we represent ALL the people in the District, not just a small faction of the District. Each Legislator will represent over 50,000 people and must be willing to listen to all sides of the issue before making a final decision.

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

I have lived, worked, and raised my family in this area for 50 years, and have been a life-long republican. My opponent stated in an event that she has lived in the State of Idaho for 7 months, and on the deadline, March 11, 2022, changed her party affiliation from unaffiliated to Republican. I believe that growing up here in District 6, graduating from the University of Idaho, teaching at Lewis Clark State College, running 3 businesses, working alongside my family as a cattlewoman, and being a mother of 4 and grandmother of 11, has given me vast experiences and knowledge to bring to the Idaho legislature to work for you. In my first session in the House, even as a freshman legislator, I was able to be a productive member in all three of my committees, Agriculture, Education, and Commerce & Human Resources. Like any job we hire for, experience matters. I believe my vast experience along with the knowledge I have gained through living in the area for 50 years, make me the most qualified candidate for House Seat A.

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?

The 1st amendment addresses several freedoms/rights: The Right to Free Speech; The Right to freely choose our own religion; The Freedom of the press; The Right to peacefully assemble (protest) and the Right to file a grievance. These rights are sacred and must be protected! There are challenges to these rights every day. In particular, there are factions that continually try to subdue the conservative voice, whether it be on social media, from traditional media, or on college campuses. The right to free speech, along with all of these rights, MUST be protected, and preserved. As Americans and as Republicans we cannot allow these most precious rights to be weakened and we must ensure that we respect these rights and continue to demand the same from others.

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?

There is no room for race-based politics. We have come a long way since Mr. King made this statement in his 1963, “I have a Dream,” speech. My perspective is that it makes no difference, the color of your skin, your race, or sex. One should always be judged upon one’s character.

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?

The crisis cannot be fully addressed until we Close the Border to illegal crossings. Every day we leave the border open is another day for more human trafficking, more drugs, and more violent criminals coming into our Country. With the increase in illegal crossings since President Biden took office, we are seeing a huge impact in our communities from the drastic increase in drug supply of fentanyl and other drugs coming across our borders, which creates a domino effect. Locally, we have seen a substantial increase in crime, especially in “murder,” but also in robberies, violence, and drug-related crimes. In my opinion, the borders should be closed and only legal crossings should be allowed. Americans should demand this from the Federal Government. We must protect our own before we can protect others.

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

Taxation: Our tax structure must be reviewed. The 3-legged tax stool consists of Income tax, Sales tax, and Property tax. When one leg of the stool becomes out of balance, the stool will topple over. As a legislature we need to do a better job looking at ways in which we can lower taxes. The people demand certain services of which we are taxed to pay for. However, instead of raising taxes to fix another problem, I believe we need to take a look at our agencies to see where we can be more efficient before we ask Idahoans to pay more in any of the 3-taxing legs to this stool. Spending: This year was somewhat of an anomaly as Idaho had $1.06 billion in surplus and substantial amounts of federal CARES dollars. As a fiscal conservative, this was a challenge for me. However, I was told that should Idaho refuse the federal dollars, the money would simply be passed on to other states, including liberal states like Oregon, Washington, and California. If our children and grandchildren will be paying this debt for decades, I felt Idahoans should reap the benefits. Idaho has to rein in spending. We must continue to look at our agencies and encourage them to deregulate, remove unnecessary costs, so we can lower the amount of taxes we are required to collect. There certainly is a fair amount of services that Idahoans expect to receive and as a Legislature, we are responsible to fund. However, we MUST treat the people’s money like it was our own. We need to budget for what is necessary, not for what is wanted, be sure we have an adequate rainy day fund, and then give back as much as possible to the people who paid it in. Budgeting: The state budget is a complicated animal. Every state agency has a budget and is looking to receive as much money as they can for their agency. It is the legislature’s responsibility to review those budgets through our Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee and for them to make a recommendation to the legislative bodies. Idaho is required to have a balanced budget. The legislative body must keep these budgets in check. We need to review each budget, ask questions, and sometimes deny requests to keep our budgets in balance.

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

Every disagreement requires a resolution. Working in the legal field for 44 years, I have had a front row seat to conflict and finding resolutions. Whether it is a client conflict, or a conflict with a tenant in an apartment, or a conflict with a bull sale customer. I constantly apply my leadership and problem solving skills to help resolve the issue. Respect and communication is key in solving every problem. During the beginning of the pandemic most of our commercial real estate tenants sent letters and said because of the pandemic they would not be paying their rent some said for up to 6 months. This was a huge conflict as we could not meet our obligations without them meeting theirs. I dealt with each tenant one on one and we put a plan together that would allow us to move forward. Also, many of our residential tenants were laid off because of the pandemic and had no income. They too, were unable to pay their rent. This was a very difficult time for all of us. I met with tenants and we talked through how we would work together to get through the challenges. We were able to take care of each and every one of these issues. March – June 2020 were some of the toughest times our business has had but we worked through it and came out the other side stronger.

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

Yes, I have signed the Republican pledge and believe in our Republican values.

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?

The Declaration of Independence is what makes America great and why so many individuals desire to live here. As a legislator we must ask ourselves with every vote, “how will this legislation affect the lives of the people we represent?” We need rules and laws but we also need to balance that need with the need to make our own decisions and to have the least amount of government overreach in our lives. I strongly agree with the statement that says, “The Best Government is that which Governs Least.”

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.”

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