Election Results

District 15 - State Representative, Position B

Candidate Votes Percentage
Jake Ellis (D) 9,089
51%
Patrick McDonald (R) 8,769
49%

Candidate Survey Responses (showing all responses received)

Party
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Democratic
Patrick McDonald
Republican
Republican
Education
Jake Ellis
Democratic
B.S. Communications from Boise State University
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Occupation and relevant work experience
Jake Ellis
Democratic
1) Firefighter and Battalion Chief, Boise Fire Department 2) Executive Board Member of the Idaho AFL-CIO 3) Board member of the Conservation Voters of Idaho
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Past political experience and campaigns
Jake Ellis
Democratic
This will be my second campaign. In 2016, I ran as a first-time candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives and managed to receive 44% of the vote.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances.
Jake Ellis
Democratic
No.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges? (Traffic citations not included). If yes, what were the convictions and the circumstances?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
No.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Why are you running for this office?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
I became worried for Idaho. I couldn’t keep watching the legislature continue to cater to special interests and was asked to run for office. The policies being passed strip us of our local freedom. They neglect our employees, our students, and our environment. Our workers and their rights are undervalued, as our business-friendly state has turned into a state unfriendly to its workers. We prefer cutting our resources over investing in our children’s future. Our public lands are under attack as we let private and out-of-state interests buy them up. We need new leaders with new solutions to meet the demands of a growing Idaho. As a first responder I’ve spent the better half of my life helping people in their greatest time of need, and I’m ready to take that passion to serve and courage to act to the state legislature.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
1) Education - We must begin investing more in our children’s future, taking care of our educators, and creating more economic opportunity in the state. 2) Protecting our Quality of Life - We must expand medicaid to strengthen the overall health of our community and Idaho’s wilderness is a treasured value that we all share. They should not have to face the threat of being sold off to private interests. Ethics and Accountability - The standards for accountability must be raised for our legislators. We have some of the loosest ethics laws in the country and reestablishing trust between our government and the people it serves is a high priority.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Why should voters select you over your opponent(s)?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
The people deserve representation by someone who will work hard to lead by offering solutions to the problems that they most care about. That starts by electing representatives that serve people and not a party. Most of the people I have talked with in District 15 have no idea who their elected representative is. The problems Idaho faces aren’t easy and we can’t expect the same people who led us to here to solve them. Idaho deserves a brighter future but real progress is going to have to be made in our educational system. As the Vice-Chair of the Education Committee, my opponent has failed to provide solutions. One bill he cosponsored was deemed unconstitutional by Gov. Otter for allowing the Bible to be used in public schools. When Medicaid expansion became popular our current Representatives decided to start supporting it. My opponent still opposes Medicaid expansion on his website, can we really trust him to do what is the morally, fiscally right thing to do after the election?
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Should Idaho create a state fund to support the construction of new K-12 schools?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
One of the largest issues Idaho faces is accommodating for the growth we are experiencing. A state fund to support the construction of new k-12 schools will help ease the dependence on bonds and levies that property owners face.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Should Idaho reduce the threshold for voter approval of local bonds from a two-thirds majority?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
I think if the State Legislature met its constitutional obligation to fund our public education system our school districts, which are being burdened with explosive growth, would not have to resort to school bonds and levies every couple of years. 44 of our 113 Idaho school districts run on 4 day school weeks and we suffering from no pipeline of skilled workers. The problem is our urban areas that have more property value and willing taxpayers continue to tax themselves for public education. Our rural areas have reached their limit in property values and willingness to supplement their public education needs.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Is Idaho sufficiently funding its higher-ed institutions?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
No. I’m concerned about our Idaho college graduates entering the workforce with an average of over $27,000 in student debt. Over the years, governors and legislators have been shifting the responsibility, expecting students and parents to pick up a greater share of the cost of college. We have identified a goal of 60 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds to hold some kind of college degree or professional certificate. Barriers to post-secondary education include access, student readiness, and affordability. We understand the problem, and we need to continue the work to reduce barriers for our students while seeking solutions and innovations that have worked in other states.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Does Idaho have an obligation to provide any funding for pre-K education?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
I believe the state has an obligation to fund pre-k for Idaho families. Reports are showing that our youngest students are not starting school at the level of preparation they should be. Early childhood development plays a large role in a successful education and economy. It has proven to be one of the best areas to invest in. Idaho is one of only a few that does not publicly fund pre-k and is a service that our state should be expected to provide.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Should Idaho create a state fund to support public transportation?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Many of the residents in my district have expressed that the lack of public transportation and traffic is frustrating. We must also consider those who are unable to transport themselves. It is important that we focus on keeping Boise a livable city and a state fund for public transportation would address these issues.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
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?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Yes. All of Idaho’s communities have different needs and it is important to give them the freedom to decide whether or not they should fund something. Most of our legislators claim they oppose big government, but will not allow our local communities the liberty to vote on funding issues that are relevant to them.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Do you support a repeal of Idaho?s state grocery tax?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
I support a repeal of Idaho’s state grocery tax because there are other ways to generate tax revenue that does not hit our middle-class families so heavily.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to expand Medicaid?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Any decision made by our voters should be respected, regardless of personal opinion. I am in support of Medicaid expansion because it the morally just and fiscally responsible thing to do. Not only can we provide more than 60,000 working Idahoans with healthcare, but it will bring back our taxpayer dollars, save more money, and keep our hospitals strong.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to bring historical horse race betting back to Idaho?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Yes. This is an issue that I will rely on the voters to decide. As a legislator, if the initiative is passed, I will support and work toward laws and policies that are implemented effectively and serve Idaho and the will of the people.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Should Idaho remove the exemption protecting practitioners of faith healing from prosecution following the death of a child?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Yes. The exemption protecting faith healers from providing a child life-saving medical treatment is morally unjustifiable. A child’s right to life should not be considered lesser than an individual's religious beliefs.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Does Idaho need to change its cannabis laws, be it through decriminalization or legalization for medical or recreational use?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
I believe that reform of Idaho’s cannabis laws can be made. We can use other states as an example to learn what sort of reforms are and aren't working. I am open to hearing the debate and from the people of District 15, but currently lack enough information to justify the exact reforms.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Would you support legislation prohibiting gun ownership for two years for persons convicted of domestic violence?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Yes, I’m a legal, responsible gun owner that, when not running for office, enjoys elk and deer hunting. But as a first responder in my community I also understand the devastating impact of domestic violence on families and our state. Statistics of gun violence used against domestic violence victims can not be ignored. National Domestic Violence statistics found that “the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.”
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
The Idaho Board of Correction is requesting $500 million for a prison expansion. Do you support this expansion, why or why not?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
No. We have created an unsustainable level of demand for prison space because of our unnecessarily high incarceration rate. Our lack of investment in programming and education has contributed to “a revolving door” that is wasting our taxpayer money. This is money that the legislature could be using more responsibly to fund education and rehabilitative programs as a means to reduce crime.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
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?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Mandatory minimum sentences for lower-level drug offenses are overwhelming our prison population. I believe that giving judges more discretion to rule on low-level drug offenses will help reduce this.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Does Idaho need to raise the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
As an executive board member of the Idaho AFL-CIO I have dedicated a lot of my time to standing up for working families. As a state experiencing so much growth, we cannot allow our wages to remain stagnant at the bare minimum. In order for our communities to thrive, we must raise the minimum wage so we can sustainably adjust to rising costs.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)
Would you support legislation requiring personal financial disclosure for statewide candidates in Idaho?
Jake Ellis
Democratic
Yes. Any individual that seeks a position of public leadership should have to prove their willingness to establish trust and transparency with the people they plan to serve.
Patrick McDonald
Republican
(No answers received)