Election Results

District 12 - State Senator

Candidate Votes Percentage
Todd Lakey (R) 9,088
65%
Chelle Gluch (D) 4,870
35%

Candidate Survey Responses (showing all responses received)

Party
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Democrat
Todd Lakey
Republican
Republican
Education
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
BA English with a writing emphasis, MA Composition and Rhetoric both from Boise State University 2011 and 2016
Todd Lakey
Republican
Bachelor's Degree International Business with a Minor in Spanish - Brigham Young University. Juris Doctorate - Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law.
Occupation and relevant work experience
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I have been a childcare provider since 1996. I have worked closely with state agencies including the Dept of Health and Welfare, the Foster Care program, and more. In 2018, I began teaching English college courses at TVCC. It has been my dream to help students--especially adult students--meet their goal of getting a college education. I'm proud to say that after years of hard work, I'm now living that dream.
Todd Lakey
Republican
Small business owner and attorney. I have worked different jobs to help support myself since I was about 12 or 13 years old up through college. I started my professional career as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Canyon County and then served two terms as a County Commissioner. I have been in private law practice since 2004. I retired after 20 years of service in the United States Army Reserves.
Past political experience and campaigns
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I have been involved in the local political landscape since 2010, when I began speaking out on issues of poverty that affect many Idahoans. I have worked with the Idaho Foodbank, Feeding America, The Women's and Children's Alliance, Close the Gap, Reclaim Idaho, UVI, and more. In 2016, I ran for state Senate, District 12. I earned one-third of the vote. From 2017 to 2018, I was Vice-chair of the Canyon County Democrats.
Todd Lakey
Republican
Republican Precinct Chair for twenty plus years. Former Canyon County Republican Youth Chairman, County Vice Chairman, County Chairman and State Committeeman. Canyon County Commissioner 1999-2004 and served as Chairman 1999-2004. Idaho State Senator for six years. Volunteer for numerous Republican candidates over the past 24 years.
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances.
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 following an acrimonious divorce and again in 2017 due to exorbitant medical bills that accrued due to a chronic illness in my family and a lack of access to health insurance. I am working as hard as I can--three jobs--to ensure that my family will never be left in this situation again.
Todd Lakey
Republican
NO
Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges? (Traffic citations not included). If yes, what were the convictions and the circumstances?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
In the early 1990s, I was charged with a single misdemeanor charge for possession. I've changed my life significantly since then.
Todd Lakey
Republican
NO
Why are you running for this office?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I am running to provide representation for the thousands of Idahoans who struggle with issues of poverty. I often say that Idaho is a beautiful place to live but a tough place to survive. I want to change Idaho to make it an easier place to survive. Idaho can do better.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I think it is important to give back to your community and I believe service is an important way we can express gratitude for others, our communities and the freedoms we enjoy. I am running for the Senate out of a desire to serve and be involved in policy decisions that are important to the people in our community and that help improve the life we are blessed with in Idaho. I want to effectively represent the values and priorities of those that I serve in District 12.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
1)Close the Medicaid gap. 2)Champion a better education for our children. 3)Keep Idaho's public lands in public hands.
Todd Lakey
Republican
My top priority has been and will continue to be Idaho’s economy. As the economy is successful then people have more individual opportunities to thrive. I believe government’s role is to help establish an environment where individuals, the private sector and small businesses can be successful. To me that means government should regulate and tax less so business owners have more to resources to grow and invest in their employees. A strong economy and lower taxes means more people are employed and can afford to meet their needs and support their family. Education is a key component to individual success and that of our economy. Our education system needs to provide people with choices and the opportunity to improve themselves and their circumstances. A good education system also helps provide the trained workforce and entrepreneurs Idaho needs. A good transportation system is also very important to get people safely where they are going and to get Idaho goods to market.
Why should voters select you over your opponent(s)?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
My life is more reflective of the average Idahoan than my opponent. My opponent does not know what it's like to struggle without healthcare, live on low wages, or worry about how his kids will get through college. These are realities for many Idahoan's. I believe that my lived experiences can be valuable tools to guide me in making decisions that affect citizens daily.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I bring a common sense conservative approach to the legislature and I believe that my values reflect those of the people in District 12. My foundational values include a belief that less government regulation and lower taxes help people and businesses be successful. I also believe in personal responsibility and initiative and that government is not there to provide solutions for most of the challenges in life. I also think traditional family values and integrity are still important for those serving in public office. It is important to listen to others and your constituents and work to find common ground that results in solutions to problems instead of gridlock. I have been involved in leadership in the community for many years and that experience and connection to our community helps me effectively represent the citizens of District 12.
Should Idaho create a state fund to support the construction of new K-12 schools?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Idaho is growing rapidly. It is imperative that we act on that knowledge and plan for this growth. I am in favor of a state fund to support new school construction.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I think this is primarily a local issue. The state has other funding responsibilities in education that it still needs to meet. I support designating more of the state funds provided to local districts as ?discretionary funds? so local districts can decide how to use them. I also think there is some benefit to local bond elections because you give local voters an opportunity to express their opinion on funding priorities and how their taxpayer funds are used.
Should Idaho reduce the threshold for voter approval of local bonds from a two-thirds majority?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Idaho has a history of making it difficult for citizens to be heard. I am in favor of simple majority.
Todd Lakey
Republican
No. It is sad that voter turnout is often low but I think taxation decisions are important enough and have such a broad impact that a super majority is appropriate.
Is Idaho sufficiently funding its higher-ed institutions?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
No, Idaho does not sufficiently fund higher education. Our legislative body seems to believe that college benefits only the educated individual. This is a fallacy. An educated citizenry is less likely to need financial support, is more likely to be financially stable, will have more employment opportunities and better benefits, experience more job satisfaction and stability, have better critical thinking and communication skills, as well as model the importance of education for their children. An educated citizenry benefits the common good.
Todd Lakey
Republican
Yes in some areas and no in others. Simply spending more money is not a good solution to challenges we face. Increased funding should be strategic and focused on our needs and desired results. Our community colleges like CWI are still in high demand from students wanting to attend and employers needing employees with the training they provide. We have significantly increased funding in the past several years but there is still a need for additional facilities, educators and improved curriculum. We also have high and unmet demand for graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We need to fund expansion in those areas. Lastly, we need to provide funding to keep our tuition levels competitive. My hope is that our young people can stay and use their education in Idaho.
Does Idaho have an obligation to provide any funding for pre-K education?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
No. As a childcare professional, I believe in the education opportunities that come from play and nature. I am disturbed by the idea that a child coming in to Kindergarten is considered behind if they can't read when entering school. Studies show that children who receive pre-k are initially ahead of those children who don't receive pre-k, however those advances generally disappear by the 3rd or 4th grade. Furthermore, some studies indicate that this push toward earlier education can stunt the love of learning in later years. I don't believe that young children need to be in classroom seats at age 3. Let them play and learn. Let them learn to be social. Let them be children.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I recognize there are benefits to pre-K education and many parents take advantage of those programs. However, K-12 is our focus. We currently have other higher priorities for our limited funds and need to finish implementing our plans to improve and maintain our K-12 system in Idaho. I am willing to consider pre-K funding in the future but would evaluate that issue based on the availability of funds and the needs of our existing K-12 education system.
Should Idaho create a state fund to support public transportation?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
As Idaho grows, so too will our need for public transit. Public transit will help to keep our freeways and highways from becoming a daily nightmare, as well as helping to control auto emissions. I am in favor of a state fund for public transit.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I do not think state general fund dollars should be used to fund public transportation. Idaho is a diverse state and the need or desire for public transportation varies too widely between higher population centers and our large rural areas. There are positives to public transportation ? it lessens demand on our roads and provides mobility to our citizens. I hear constituents express concern over the cost of the many empty seats on buses and others say you need more and better routes to increase ridership. I think it is a cost benefit decision best evaluated at the local level. I think an appropriately framed local option tax that would allow the voters in an area to decide if they wanted to provide additional funding for public transportation is the better approach.
Should state law be changed to allow Idaho cities and counties to institute a local option sales tax in order to pay for public safety projects, such as courtroom improvements or jail construction?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I am undecided on this issue. I need to do more research on this subject.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I may or may not support a particular project, but I support the ability to use local option sales tax with the right side boards. It needs to be project specific and expire when the project is complete and paid for. It should be limited to a maximum of one cent on the dollar. It would require approval of the corresponding local government entity like the city council or county commissioners to put it on the ballot. Then the voters would be able to decide whether a particular project is worthwhile by a super majority. The local officials and then the voters can decide whether the risk of having some consumers shop elsewhere because of the higher sales tax is worth getting that project built.
Do you support a repeal of Idaho?s state grocery tax?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
While a repeal of the grocery tax would put a little more cash in the pocket of citizens, I am concerned about this loss of tax base for the state. Idaho has an extremely low tax rate compared to surrounding states, and that's a good thing, however if we continue to cut every tax base down to the bare minimum I worry that Idaho will face an uncertain future like Oklahoma.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I would support repeal. I have had many constituents express support for the concept. That said the devil is in the details that need to be worked through. For example, what food should be tax exempt? Does it include prepared food like that sold in restaurants but is now also sold in modern grocery stores? Additionally local government entities like cities and counties would be effected because part of their share of the funds they receive from state tax collections comes from grocery taxes. We would need to make sure they are kept whole.
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to expand Medicaid?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
The job of a legislator is to listen and act upon the will of the people. Yes, I would respect the will of the people.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I do not support expansion of the existing dysfunctional Medicaid system. It promotes utilization of costlier medical treatment without sufficient personal accountability. The ill-advised Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, which continues to result in increased costs and taxes, created the problem. I supported action in the Senate requesting a waiver that would allow Idaho to create its own program to provide coverage for those in the gap. If my constituents vote to expand Medicaid then I would support that directive as their Senator who they elect to represent them.
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to bring historical horse race betting back to Idaho?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Yes.
Todd Lakey
Republican
Horse racing and betting on horse racing is and remains legal in Idaho. This is about new casino style gambling machines. Idaho?s Constitution is the foundation for what I do as a legislator. Article III Section 20 of our Idaho Constitution prohibits slot machines or any casino gambling device that imitates slot machines. I looked at and played the new machines that were installed. They look like and play like slot machines. The experts and proponents of the machines stated that they imitate slot machines. Using those same machines violates the Idaho Constitution so I cannot support that. I have worked with those in the horse industry and remain willing to work with them on legislation supporting a different approach that is constitutional.
Should Idaho remove the exemption protecting practitioners of faith healing from prosecution following the death of a child?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
I believe that any man, woman, or child should be allowed to worship in any way they see fit UNLESS that worship impinges on the rights of another. I believe that faith healing violates the rights of the child. I am in favor of removing this exemption.
Todd Lakey
Republican
There are two aspects to this very difficult issue. One relates to criminalizing the conduct of the parent and the other relates to protecting the child. I have a strong personal faith and believe people can be healed through prayer and faith. I also believe that God blesses us with intelligence to discover and use new medicines and technologies. I do not want to make a criminal out of someone that loves their child and exercises their faith on behalf of that child. This situation is not the same as a parent who physically or sexually abuses their child. However, for me the life of the child has to carry the most weight in this balance. In these cases, I do support the ability of law enforcement and the courts to place a child in protective custody to obtain necessary medical treatment when the child’s health is seriously at risk or their life is in danger. For now I am not sure how I would approach a reporting requirement. I have more listening to do on this issue.
Does Idaho need to change its cannabis laws, be it through decriminalization or legalization for medical or recreational use?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
The War on Drugs in Idaho and the nation has been a failure. I am in favor of decriminalization and legalization for medical use. These actions would not only save our state money but would also help with the overcrowding in our prisons and offer the sick and chronically ill alternatives that may improve their health and well being.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I do not support legalizing marijuana in Idaho. If there are components of the marijuana plant that can be derived and put in a medicalized form such as a liquid or pill and then prescribed by a licensed physician I would support that. It would be treated like other medicines. I do not support recreational use.
Would you support legislation prohibiting gun ownership for two years for persons convicted of domestic violence?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Yes, too many Idaho women have been killed at the hands of their abusers. These are deaths that could be prevented.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I have spent a lot of time personally and professionally prosecuting offenders, helping victims and working to strengthen victim’s rights. A conviction for domestic violence can result from different types of conduct with unique sets of facts and individuals. We are dealing with a constitutional right so we need to be judicious when that right is removed just as we are with the removal of the other constitutional rights of the defendant in a criminal case. I don’t think a blanket exclusion is the right approach. The removal of the right to own or possess a firearm is best addressed by the judge in a particular case looking at the facts of that case. Removal of the right to own or posses a firearm should be imposed as a condition of probation in those cases where it is needed to protect the victim and the community.
The Idaho Board of Correction is requesting $500 million for a prison expansion. Do you support this expansion, why or why not?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
No, I do not support a prison expansion. As I indicated in an earlier question, I believe we should be looking at changing certain laws that are responsible for some of our overcrowding issues.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I agree with the need for additional bed space and we must keep our communities safe. I need to review the details of what they are proposing to evaluate their request and to be able to determine what is needed and what is a priority. However just building more bed space is not the ultimate answer. We need to continue look at where we can reduce the demand on the prison system. This includes reclassification of some criminal offenses and strengthening our juvenile justice and education systems to help kids avoid becoming part of that demand. We have significantly increased funding and training for parole officers to help people to be successful on parole and avoid going back to prison. We need to see how those efforts are working and make any necessary adjustments.
Idaho?s justice reinvestment committee is exploring changes to drug sentencing law in Idaho as a tool for reducing the state?s prison population. What do you think should be done in the area of drug sentencing laws?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Addiction is a terrible problem, however I do not believe that sentencing an addict to prison will address this issue. Addicts need counseling and medical support to change. In my opinion, drug court is a far better alternative.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I am willing to making adjustments to the drug sentencing laws in Idaho. Some say our prisons are being filled up with small time personal use offenders. That is simply and factually not the case. Input from prosecutors and law enforcement has to play a key role in these decisions. We have mandatory minimum sentences for some of the more serious drug offenses in Idaho. Unfortunately, we have illegal drugs sold on our streets but there are fewer deals done in Idaho because dealers are aware of these minimums and don’t want to get caught here. As far as an example of potential changes, I think there is room to adjust some of the quantities in drug trafficking laws which carry minimum sentences to make sure we are targeting those that are dealing and not personal users.
Does Idaho need to raise the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Idaho's minimum wage should be raised. Fully, one-third of Idaho jobs are at or near minimum wage, furthermore women are more likely to be the recipients of such a low wages. These low wages leave families unable to even secure the most basic of needs such as housing. This is unacceptable. Raise the wage.
Todd Lakey
Republican
No. I do not think this is government’s proper role. This artificial interference results in fewer jobs and more part time versus full time positions with some employers. I would rather government promote a strong economy and invest in education so people can help themselves and improve their economic potential. As we are seeing now, a strong economy and low unemployment promotes competition and results in increased wages without government interference. As a small business owner, we value our employees and pay competitive wages. I have personally seen compensation go up as we compete with other firms for good employees in this strong economy.
Would you support legislation requiring personal financial disclosure for statewide candidates in Idaho?
Michelle Gluch
Democrat
Transparency is the key to government accountability. Transparency is this area is no different. I would support such a measure.
Todd Lakey
Republican
I think the public has a right to transparency and a right to know about potential conflicts of interest in their government officials. An individual also still has certain privacy rights even though they run for office. I support a requirement that all candidates, not just statewide candidates, disclose their sources of significant income. This informs the public of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed by the elected official. I support the disclosure of sources of income but I think how much a person makes a year in their private employment is still confidential.