Election candidates have experience, local knowledge

Brandon Shippy (R)

Scott Syme (R)

Rachel Buck (D)

Jody Keeler (D)

Judy Boyle (R)

Jacyn Gallagher (R)

John Shirts (R)

Thomas Albritton (D)
Philip A. Janquart
 Last week, the Weiser Signal American ran photos and bios of local candidates running in the May 21, 2024 Idaho primary election.
 This week, we are running Legislative District 9 candidate photos and bios. The candidates include Senate hopefuls Rachel Buck (Dem), Brandon Shippy (Rep), and Scott Syme (Rep). Running for the District 9, Seat A position is Thomas Albritton (Dem), Jacyn Gallagher (Rep), and John Shirts (Rep). Running for District 9, Seat B is Jody Keeler (Dem), and Judy Boyle (Rep).
 Both local and legislative candidates have been invited to attend a forum scheduled to take place at the Vendome Events Center, at 309 State St. in Weiser, on Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Brandon Shippy (R)
 Brandon Shippy’s roots run deep in the Western Treasure Valley. His great-grandfather Samuel settled in Weiser following WWII, and his grandfather Terry raised his family in New Plymouth. His father, Darren, raised his family in Fruitland and New Plymouth, where Brandon grew to love his state and his county. 
 When it came time for Brandon and his wife, Rakel, to start their family together, it was a natural decision for them to stay true to Payette County. 
 Brandon was blessed with a heritage of strong work ethics and an entrepreneurial spirit from his family and friends, so it was also a natural decision for him to launch his own small business in New Plymouth – Shippy Sprinkler LLC. 
 Brandon’s conservative values are also well-rooted and well-expressed. He serves as a volunteer for the Idaho Republican Party as a precinct committeeman, representing his neighbors, and as the Payette County Republican Central Committee Youth Committeeperson, in which Brandon represents Republican youth at the State-level Republican events. 
 Having a heart for his community is expressed in Brandon’s volunteer work, both as a deacon in his church and through his chapel work with Narrow Path Prison Ministries. He and Rakel have also opened their home in the past as foster care providers. Brandon’s family is truly interwoven into the fabric of the community, past, present, and future. Now a father of three, Brandon feels a calling to help maintain Idaho’s culture for his children and neighbors to enjoy. Brandon knows that his community wants a principled conservative representing them in the legislature. Brandon is that conservative, and Brandon’s passion for his community will strengthen and sustain him as a true candidate for the Idaho State Senate.
 “My name is Brandon Shippy, and I am proud to call Idaho my home. I am filled with hope for the future, for my children and grandchildren as we continue to build upon the legacy of those who have come before us.”
Scott Syme (R)
 Scott and his wife, Patti, are small business owners. He is a fifth generation Idahoan with roots dating back to 1880. Scott was born and raised on his family’s farm in Weiser. They have four children who attended local public schools and nine grandchildren. He is a graduate of the College of Idaho with a BA in Business Administration. 
 In his prior six years in the legislature, he was tough on crime, earning the Fraternal Order of Police’s Legislator of the Year for 2022.  A fiscal conservative who sat on the budget committee, he fought to keep spending in line and led to the budget surpluses. 
 Col. Syme served for 32 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, including two deployments to Iraq. For his service in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
 Syme’s priorities include a quality education in Idaho, supporting our law enforcement, stopping illegal immigration, making improvements to infrastructure with a focus on US 95 and ensuring a fiscally responsible government to combat inflation. Syme wants to bring common sense decision-making to the Idaho Legislature. 
Rachel Buck (D)
 My name is Rachel Buck, I am the conservative District 9 candidate, ready to represent my constituents and protect individual freedoms. I am a fourth generation Idahoan who knows real Idahoan values. 
 I graduated from BSU with a B.S. in Psychology and a certificate in Mediation. For nearly 2 decades I managed several Boise law offices, handling State and Federal cases, including the largest 9th circuit case in history. I have seen firsthand how Idaho’s laws and bad policies impact real people. 
 I am running as a Democrat because our majority party has had 30 years to get it right and we are still fighting for tax relief, property rights, preservation of our drinking and irrigation water, protection of agriculture, public school funding, and access to quality health care. If the Democrats had been in control over these past 3 decades I’d be running as a Republican! Idaho’s growth is compounding these issues.
 Preservation of our land, water and air are non-partisan issues that are vital for Idaho’s success. 
 I believe the best government is one that represents its citizens. When our lawmakers care more about catering to lobbyists than protecting Idaho families, we the people pay the price. I believe the biggest challenges Idahoans in District 9 face include:
 • Oil and gas drilling operations – this corporate and government overreach violates our property rights, property values, threatens public health, drinking water, our iconic rivers, irrigation systems, and wildlife.
 • Funding for public schools - I believe strongly in school choice but supporting private schools and/or homeschooling by draining public school funds is not only bad for our kids, but also violates Idaho constitution.
 • Property tax relief - developers must start paying their fair share for the impacts of growth on our groundwater, schools and roads instead of long-time Idahoans being taxed out of the homes we’ve owned for generations in order to protect profit margins. 
 We deserve representation that will stand up for all D9 residents. I hope to restore the notion of small government, provide transparency, and earn the trust of my constituents. I promise to legislate in the best interests of my constituents. My opponent is constrained to act by party politics and adhere to an extremism loyalty oath. Our constitutional rights are non-negotiable. I ask for your vote so your voice matters and we can keep this great State of Idaho the place we love to call home.
Idaho House of 
Dist 9 Seat B
Jody Keeler (D)
 My name is Jody Keeler, and I am running to be your next State Representative for District 9 House Seat B. With 48 years of blue-collar work experience, ranging from flipping burgers at 14 to concluding my career as a dump truck driver in highway construction, I understand what it means to work for a living. I worked all while volunteering as an EMT, for the Red Cross, and serving as a caregiver for both my mother, Eva, and my brother, Greg.
 I’m motivated to run for state representative by a compelling need for change. The bills passed during the last session by the majority party often overlook the crucial issues that matter most to hard-working families in our community. The lack of constituent services and transparency erodes trust and accountability within our government. Our current legislative body lacks balance and the core principles of freedom. We urgently require dedicated legislators who prioritize constituents over party doctrine.
 In my conversations with voters, education consistently emerges as the primary concern, particularly regarding the ongoing need to pass bonds and levies. Addressing this issue is pivotal, and one key aspect lies in revenue generation. Idaho squanders $5.2 billion annually in tax exemptions that never expire or undergo review. A modest reevaluation of just 5 percent of these exemptions could generate $250 million annually for school infrastructure, accumulating to $1 billion every four years. This presents a significant solution to the funding obstacles faced by our education system, eliminating the need for bonds and levies that inflate property taxes.
 As your State Representative, I am wholeheartedly committed to placing the needs of our district at the forefront of my agenda. I will revitalize constituent services and amplify community voices through proactive town hall meetings. Your concerns are paramount, and I am fully dedicated to understanding and addressing them. With unwavering commitment, I am the ideal candidate to serve and advocate for you in this position.
 I humbly ask for your vote and support, believing that together, we can effect positive change for our district and our state. Thank you for considering me as your representative.
Judy Boyle (R)
 Judy Boyle currently represents District 9 House seat B and is a lifelong Republican. She is an unapologetic Christian conservative whose principles are based in the Bible and the Constitution which her votes reflect. 
 Her expertise is in natural resources, agriculture, and individual rights. Judy has written, sponsored and supported many of Idaho’s 2nd Amendment laws earning her the coveted national Defender of Freedom award from the NRA. Judy believes the 2nd Amendment is the enabling language of America’s Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
 Some laws Judy successfully wrote and passed during the last term (two years) include forbidding foreign governments from owning Idaho agriculture and timber land, water rights, and mineral rights; 2nd amendments rights of defensive display for self protection; expanding Good Neighbor Authority for the state to manage timber sales on federal land and requiring bonding for entities suing to stop management; making clear that state agency guidance and policy are not equal to law; allowing the Wolf Control Board to use already existing funds to reimburse livestock owners for losses due to wolves; started the Idaho Career Ready Students grant fund to restart and/or fund shop classes and buildings for 7 to 12 grade students; strengthening parents rights and designating parents as the primary stakeholders of their child’s education; modernization of the 25 year old charter school law; criminalizing false reporting of crop duster spraying; authorize sheriffs to temporarily close roads; new Gadsden Flag license plates.
 Judy currently serves on the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Revenue/Taxation committees, is co-chair of the Federalism Committee, and on the multi-state forestry task force.
 Judy has been a 4-H leader, NICU support parent, helped start Boise’s Ronald McDonald House, March of Dimes volunteer, Director of natural resources for Congressman Helen Chenoweth, and Idaho Farm Bureau Legislative Director.
 She lives on her farm outside of Midvale where she has given unconditional love to numerous children besides her own son, daughter, and two grandsons.
Idaho House of 
Representatives Dist 9 Seat A
Jacyn Gallagher (R)
 I am Jacyn Gallagher and I work for you.
 I am running for re-election as your Idaho State Representative for District 9, seat A.
 Chapter one of my life starts with the sanctity of life. I was born to a teenage mother in Portland, Ore., and placed for adoption. Just like your mother, my mother chose life. I was adopted by a wonderful family who raised me on a farm near Forest Grove, Ore. I appreciate small farms and their value. Living on a farm, I learned the importance of hard work.
 I began working in the fields picking strawberries and cucumbers every season. When old enough, I worked in retail and food service. Eventually I worked in the public sector, for the Department of Justice as an advocate for children. I have served in church leadership, working with teens, and leading worship. When I retired in 2019, my husband and I decided it was time to live our best life. We could have moved anywhere we wanted, but after much research we decided on Idaho’s Treasure Valley and bought a home on the Weiser Flat. We are Idahoans not by birthright, but by hard work and by choice.
 I am the wife of a 22 year Navy Veteran and the mother of two adult children.
I have been active in Republican politics for decades, volunteering to support the campaigns of good conservative Republicans. Have held the position of County GOP Secretary, and I am currently an elected Republican Party Precinct Committeeman for Washington County, 
 I love America and cherish the freedom we have to pursue happiness taking whatever avenue is best for our families. I believe that we all have the right to protect our families from harm, the second amendment maintains that right and I strongly support it. I am endorsed by Gun Owners of America. 
 I am seeking re-election to continue standing for the conservative principles of less government, lower taxes and less spending of taxpayer dollars. I have a Biblical worldview and God is first in my life and the decisions I make, in and out of the Capitol. I am we the People. We need representatives in the legislature that are not afraid of keeping Idaho sovereign and out from under the federal government’s thumb. I am a Constitutional conservative and I strongly support the Idaho GOP platform.
John Shirts (R)
 John Shirts is a fifth generation Idahoan, raised working on his family’s ranch. His great-great-grandfather homesteaded in Washington County in the 1880s. John attended Weiser High School and worked his way through the University of Idaho.  After college, he graduated from the University of Colorado Law School. John then clerked for the Honorable Jonathan P. Brody, an Idaho District Court judge in Rupert. 
 Following his clerkship, he earned a commission in the U.S. Air Force as a JAG officer. During his active-duty service, John served in Korea as an adviser to the 51st Fighter Wing on Osan Air Base. Later appointed to the Air Force’s Special Victims Unit (SVU), he prosecuted sexual assault cases at 30 Air Force bases around the world, from Germany to Hawaii. His military decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.
 After leaving active duty, John was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney under the Trump administration. He served as a federal prosecutor in Idaho, convicting illegal alien drug traffickers and child predators. He continues to serve as a prosecutor in the Air Force Reserve. 
 John is married to Mercedes Shirts, a high school teacher. They live on the family ranch in Weiser. 
Thomas Albritton (D)
 Hello, my name is Thomas Albritton. I am running for Idaho State House of Representative Seat 9A. I am a father of 3 and grandfather of 6 and live in Weiser, Idaho. 
 I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Boise State University in 2018 and 2021. I spent 20-plus years in construction as a commercial and residential painter. I also worked in retail and the dairy industry in and around southern Idaho.
 I am running because, like many of you, I don’t recognize the Idaho we moved to in 1975. I remember when Idaho was a little bit Democrat a little bit Republican and a little bit Independent. We all worked together to solve the problems that Idaho faced. But unfortunately, what we see today is not that great Idaho that came together to solve problems. 
 What we see now is the dominant political party more concerned with power than the welfare of all Idaho citizens. We need leaders who believe in equality for all. We need leaders who will work for all Idahoans. We need leaders who will focus on fully funding education so our children and grandchildren can succeed in life. Just imagine how well our children and grandchildren would be doing if the so-called budget surplus were used to fix schools, pay teachers, and upgrade technology in every school in Idaho. We need leaders who will stand up for women’s reproductive rights, not make them second-class citizens. We need leaders who don’t demonize libraries and librarians because the last time I checked nothing good came from that ideology.
 I believe we can reset and restore policies, so they work for all Idahoans. We have a chance right now to bring Idaho back to the future and not dwell in the past of hate, bigotry, and racism. We need leaders who will protect our voting rights and our process of voter initiatives. Unlike the dominant party in Idaho which voted against feeding school-age children in the summer, we need leaders who will ensure our school-age children don’t go hungry through the summer. We have a chance in Idaho to turn the page on hate and make Idaho safe for all. My loyalty is to the Idaho Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and you, the voters not a party.
I am asking for your vote and to vote for people who will work for you. Thank you.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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