While everybody is getting super pumped for another tortuous season of politics, we here in Pocatello can get things started with Pocatello’s Official City Council Candidate List 2011! Who’s excited? I’m not going to beat around the bush, so here it is!
Council Seat #1
Jim Johnston (incumbent)
Council Seat #2
Steve Brown (incumbent)
Council Seat #3
Eva Johnson-Nye (incumbent)
So what do we know about the council member hopefuls so far? Brad Huerta is a local businessman who is pushing his 20 years in the private and public sectors. His campaign slogan is “Integrity, Experience, Service,” whatever that means to you. Jim Johnston just got the seat back in July, so he’s hardly an incumbent. His campaign page is pretty bare-bones so far, but assures voters he is a Pocatello man, dedicated to making our fair city an even greater place to live.
The real race, however, is going to be the three-way run for Steve Brown’s seat. Mark Balzer has only been in Pocatello since the mid-2000s but is running his “Common $ENSE Leadership” campaign (the “$ENSE” stands for “$aving tax dollars, Efficient, No nonsense, Sensible and Effective) that could definitely appeal to a lot of voters. He also appears to be closely aligned with the Pocatello Tea Party, penning several columns for their website.
Scott Odekirk, on the other hand, is running on a very green platform that supports the controversial Greenway project, public transportation and a host of other environmental-friendly ideas that will definitely capture the votes of Pocatello’s more liberal-leaning folks. A look at his Facebook shows some early support from the leaders of Pocatello’s LGBTQ scene, meaning the Balzer/Odekirk spars could get ugly.
But let’s not forget incumbent Steve Brown. The Pocatello Tea Party has already flat-out attacked him as a “Fiscally irresponsible, Big Government Republican” in a 2010 blog post and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Balzer continues that line of attack. Brown, who has only held the seat since July 2010, doesn’t have much of an online campaign presence yet, but he’s going to need one soon if he plans on keeping up with his challengers.
The third race is off to a pretty bland start, pitting incumbent Eva Johnson-Nye (no online presence) against Paul Gagliardi (no online presence). It appears that Gagliardi is a local real estate agent, but if these two don’t step things up a notch, it’s going to be a pretty boring November over at Council Seat #3.
Don’t worry, everybody, we have the next two months to talk about the mud-slinging fun this city council race will hopefully turn out to be, so no need to run to the soap box yet. Look for more coverage here and in the print edition of TBA.