Bingham County voters have until June 2 to turn in their election ballots and one of the big races on the Republican side is the primary contest between incumbent County Commissioner Mark Bair and challenger Kevin Christensen.
This is a race in which the old adage “if it’s not broke don’t try to fix it” comes to mind.
Bingham County’s government is far from being broke financially or otherwise, and one of the reasons for this is Bair.
Bair has certainly helped push the county in a fiscally responsible direction since joining the commission in 2013. Big county budget increases have been unheard of during Bair’s tenure and the county currently has $5.5 million in reserve.
Bair has gone from being a rookie commissioner who struggled to understand the county’s budget to being a veteran leader who thoroughly knows the county’s finances and can navigate any county issue that comes his way.
The county’s admirable response to the COVID-19 pandemic is just one example of the leadership provided by Bair and his fellow commissioners.
Bair also isn’t afraid to bring any concerns he has to the attention of local legislators, one of whom is his brother Steve, a leader on the state Senate’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
Bair’s courage to speak out to the state’s leaders has paid dividends for Bingham County and the rest of Idaho as evidenced by the Legislature’s decision to ditch its plan this year to freeze property taxes statewide.
He had no problem letting everyone know that he thought the proposal would be “an absolute disaster” for Bingham County and state lawmakers were obviously among those listening.
Bair stresses the importance of having experienced hands at the wheel governing Bingham County and we couldn’t agree more.
He understands the big issues facing the county, and we’re confident that when it comes to responsible budgeting, addressing the county’s housing shortage and managing growth, he can be counted on to make the right decisions.
His opponent could certainly grow into the role of being a competent commissioner and deserves recognition for running a positive campaign devoid of mudslinging.
Christensen is running on a platform of simply offering an alternative to Bair, but in this race we see no reason why voters should stray from the incumbent.
Christensen is a mature, well-intentioned candidate whose family roots go back to Bingham County’s beginnings. We hope to see him run for a different post in the future because he’d be a solid addition to local government in East Idaho.
But in this race, Bair deserves to be re-elected because he’s simply the better candidate.
Bingham County is without a doubt in good hands with him at the helm.