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Melissa Durrant

State Representative Legislative District 23 Seat A

Biography & Background

I grew up in a small farming town in Utah where my dad was a deputy for the county sheriff’s office as well as an EMS first responder. I moved to Idaho in 2006 when I married my husband, and we have 4 kids ages 15, 13, 9 and 3. Growing up my first job was changing water on the farm that we lived next to. I got the full farm experience when I got married, as my husband is the 4th generation on his family farm “Big D Ranch”. In addition to my husband working on his family farm we farm around 300 acres ourselves in the Kuna area. Raising my kids to have the work ethic and values of the ag community has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being a part of the ag community has brought me a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication that it takes. I have been very lucky to have had to serve in Young Farmer and Rancher leadership positions on committees on the local level, state level where I will finish my 2-year term this year and a 2-year term on the national committee. I have had the opportunity to attend Boise State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and then received a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education from Utah State University. Being a part of my community is also important to me as I have had the opportunities to serve. I have been on different committees within my local school district and attended board meeting to stay up to date on what is going on and what the needs are. I have also been able to share my love of soccer as a coach for 5 years with Kuna PAL coaching from ages 6-11.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Education is a huge issue for me as I have 3 kids currently in the public schools and 1 that will be in a few years. Making sure that all kids get a quality education is important as that is the foundation for them to build on for the rest of their lives. Education to me is a public service and the school buildings serve as public facilities as I have had kids practice and have games there as they have participated in community sports. We are in a state with so much growth that this is affecting everything from transportation to classroom supplies. We need to find the most efficient solution to have the growth help pay for the public education. Once the education system starts to decrease then the growth will slow, parents want to live in school districts that are able to offer a quality education and resources to prepare their child for their future. Another struggle with education is the lack of qualified specialized teachers to fill positions. Idaho’s universities are not able to fulfill the need due to many factors some of which could be either lack of program on campus, too small of cohort to fill the vacancies or out of state students that do not graduate and seek employment in Idaho.
2. Preserving the ag industry in Idaho is vital to keeping Idaho true to its roots. Farmers and ranchers have been known to be stewards of the land and seek to not only protect and preserve the land but also the natural resources. As growth is increasing farm and ranch land are decreasing. This industry is a staple to our economy and way of life, which is vital that it remains strong. This is not to be achieved by stopping the growth but through all parties working together to maintain Idaho’s grassroots integrity, which is ultimately drawing the growth in. Personal property rights for all property holders are important to keep in consideration as preservation is achieved. The only person deciding what happens to your property is you. As the area around us changes we need to make sure that we are protecting what was here before us, and making sure that the changes do not have a negative impact to our agriculture lands or livestock.
3. As Idaho grows, we need to make sure that our infrastructure is still strong and able to hold up to the standards and integrity that Idaho is known for. Some of the public services that have seen the biggest growing pains is in our roads, emergency services and schools. Driving through many areas the roads are rough from numerous patch job or under construction trying to catch up to provide efficiency for the increase of traffic. Growing up with a dad who was a police officer for 22 years and intermediate EMT first responder for 15 then marrying into a family where my father-in-law was a fire fighter and EMT for Kuna for 17 years, I know the sacrifices and importance of the service. These emergency services have not been able to keep up with the growth which means they do not have the resources wither it be equipment or personnel, to adequately handle all the calls in their areas. Schools are seeing the growing pains in their classroom sizes and not having the resources to adequately educate our kids. We have got to keep our infrastructure strong to keep Idaho the Idaho we all love to live in.

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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