INTERVIEW: Frank Vandersloot explains Democratic candidate endorsement

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Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Frank Vandersloot

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Idaho Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Wilson has received an unexpected and somwhat rare endorsement from known political conservative, Frank Vandersloot.

Vandersloot, who typically endorses Republicans, said he feels it’s time for a change in the top educational seat in Idaho.

“A few weeks ago, I reached out to folks in preparation for this voting,” Vandersloot told KID NewsRadio. “I reached out to just to see what the lay of the land was and I was surprised at how many conservatives are thinking we need a change in Superintendent of Public Education…I don’t have firsthand knowledge, but I can tell you that a lot of people feel that there needs to be a change and people who were a lot closer to education than I am, people who have been very close to it in the past and still are. Even those were supporting Ybarra appear to be supporting Sherri Ybarra out of loyalty to the party, and they didn’t have anything necessarily really positive to say.”

The expressions of support from those conservative voices, Vandersloot said, prompted him to meet with Ybarra’s opponent Cindy Wilson to talk about her stance on the issues and how she intends to lead if elected.

“I spent several hours with her and came away thinking, here’s who we should have, and that agrees with many people who are from the conservative side of the aisle,” Vandersloot said.

Among the things to separate her from the incumbent candidate, Vandersloot said Wilson is showing up and has a proven track record of dedicating herself to improving education in the state.

“She’s full of enthusiasm,” Vandersloot said. “She’s clearly energized. She wants to get some things done. I think she would come to work. I think that was one of the criticisms that I’ve heard pretty consistently about Sherri. She wasn’t there. Her parking space was always, not always, but most often, way too often, seemed to be vacant even during busy legislation times when they needed to have her there. So, I saw in Cindy, she wanted to go to work.”

Vandersloot also said Wilson’s approach to education aligns with his opinions.

“There’s nothing that she said that I disagreed with,” Vandersloot said. “She wants to focus on getting kids up and reading by the third grade, she wants to increase graduation rates. She’s not dead set on the typical education line of thinking that you’ve got to go from high school to college. She supports Vo-Tech and I do too.”