INTERVIEW: Candidate for Idaho Lieutenant Governor, Steve Yates, discusses campaign efforts

Steve Yates, candidate for Idaho Lieutenant Governor, talks with Neal Larson and Julie Mason about his bid for Idaho’s second highest seat | Sydney Jensen, KID Newsradio

Listen to KID Newsradio’s interview with Steve Yates

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Steve Yates, candidate for Idaho Lieutenant Governor, talked about his latest campaign efforts on Monday, May 7, as the primary elections inch ever closer.

Yates readily acknowledged it’s easy for voters to forget about the lieutenant governor’s race with such a contested governor’s race. But, in a state where the highest races in Idaho are individual bids instead of tickets, voters should be aware of who is running for Idaho’s second most powerful seat.

I think that there are unique things about this cycle that make the vote for governor and lieutenant governor unusually important,” Steve Yates, candidate for Idaho’s Lieutenant Governor, told KID Newsradio. “Number one, we have a Trump administration that makes a big difference. I believe the Trump administration gives our new governor a great opportunity to implement conservative solutions here in Idaho without the resistance that we found during the Obama years and so a lieutenant governor with some White House experience and federal level, senior executive experience could do some blocking and tackling to help the new Governor be able implement those Idaho solutions. That hasn’t been as relevant in past cycles as I think it is in this.”

Yates said, understanding the role lieutenant governors play in state government also plays a crucial part in how much thought voters give to who they vote for on May 15th.

“I think that it’s really important that people understand that the Lieutenant Governor spends most of his time in the executive branch duties, not in the legislature,” Yates said. “It does have a foothold in the legislature presiding over the Senate, but really acting as governor when the governor leaves the state, being an executive branch policy advisor, helper, coalition builder for the new Governor is an important role of  a Lieutenant Governor and so my proposition is that someone who’s been a state-wide, elected, volunteer building grassroots coalitions and also someone who has executive branch experience in his life, is a good qualification for that.”

As with every candidate, Yates has outlined his positions on several political issues like education and public lands management.

“My view is that in the ideal, if we could go back and say that equal states had equal rights under the federal constitution then western states would have the same rights as eastern states in owning and managing and extracting the resources for the benefit of the people in every state, but we don’t live in that ideal world right now,” Yates said. “At the moment, I think it’s important to preserve access to the lands. I think it’s very, very important for us to recognize is the resources in those lands are things that are part of God’s creation, that meant for us to use for the betterment of the quality of life of our people and for us create a surplus that we can possibly sell to other states and to other markets abroad, again to raise those resources for school infrastructure and other needs of our people.”

The primary election is May 15.