POCATELLO — Gate City native and former Idaho legislator Evan Frasure plans to run in 2014 for the one office that eluded him a dozen years ago, Idaho Secretary of State.
Frasure, talking informally on Thursday about his decision to run, said simply that the time is right, and it’s the right time for someone from the eastern part of the state to fill that role.
It was current Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, the chief deputy in that office before running, who won the position over Frasure during the primary election in 2002. Among the biggest reasons Frasure chose to run in 2002 was that Ysursa would otherwise have been unopposed and he didn’t believe such a high position should be won without a challenge.
Ysursa is retiring and Frasure not only sees a wide-open race for the position, but also believes he has the experience and education needed to do the job.
“My background fits that position well,” he said. “I have been a businessman my whole life, I have owned a grocery store, I have sold real estate, I have been in marketing my entire career.”
For the past 12 years, the last six of those at Century High School, Frasure has taught government and civics for District 25. That’s one of the most significant responsibilities of the Secretary of State, he said.
“I would like to be able to teach the people about civics, civility in government,” Frasure said. “We need to invigorate people to understand that we the people are sovereign, we need to be involved and be educated voters. The Secretary of State is suppose to be doing that.”
It’s just one of the roles the Idaho Secretary of State takes on, but it is clearly one of the roles Frasure is most passionate about early on. Another is representing Eastern Idaho within the Gem State’s group of constitutional officers, those elected individuals who also sit on the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners.
Frasure said those individuals, including Ysursa, Idaho Gov. C.L. Butch Otter, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna, and State Controller Brandon Woolf, all originally hail from Ada and Canyon counties.
He says Eastern Idaho has thousands of acres that are overseen by the Land Commissioners.
“It would be nice to have at least one of those constitutional officers from this side of the state,” he said.
Frasure’s background includes a dozen years in the Idaho Legislature, starting in 1990 with a single term in the Idaho House of Representatives followed by five terms in the Idaho Senate. He left to pursue the Secretary of State office in 2002.
During his time in the Legislature, Frasure was known for compiling legislation that served all constituents regardless of party. He was elected to the Idaho GOP Hall of Fame in 1997 as an Outstanding Republican Legislator.
Frasure has also been involved in the last three legislative redistricting processes, in 1990 as a legislator, in 2000 as one of those in the Senate who worked to turn the redistricting duties over to a citizen commission and in 2010 as part of that redistricting commission.
Frasure said he plans to formally announce his candidacy next week.