Hootie Langseth | Courtesy photo
ARCO — A Republican and Democrat are facing off for the Butte County Commissioner District 2 seat in this year’s general election.
Incumbent county commissioner, Hootie Langseth, a Republican, is challenged by Democrat William “Bill” J. Moncur.
To learn more about the candidate’s platform, EastIdahoNews.com asked the candidates to answer the same eight questions to each candidate. Moncur did not return EastIdahoNews.com’s multiple phone calls over the past two weeks.
Langseth’s responses are listed below.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Langseth I was born and raised in Butte County; I am the fourth generation of the Blattner family to be born in the Lost River valley and proud to call it my home. I graduated from Butte County High School in 2014. During my childhood, my father was elected Mayor of Arco and he held this position for 12 years. I gained a huge insight into the daily workings of local government growing up in it.
I attended Idaho State University majoring in Political Science and Sociology later earning degrees in both majors in 2019. In 2016 I was elected in Butte County as Arco 1 Precinct Committeeman for the Republican Party in addition to serving as Butte County Youth Chairman for the Republican Party. I worked on U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson’s re-election campaign in 2016 and 2018 as his Butte County chair. I worked for Senator Mike Crapo’s re-election as his Butte County chair in 2016. I later volunteered for Governor Brad Little’s campaign in 2018. I currently serve as Butte County’s chair for Marsy’s Law for Idaho. In 2018, I was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Crater’s of the Moon Natural History Association.
In 2017 I was awarded an internship with Idaho’s Senior U.S. Senator, Mike Crapo, in Washington, D.C. I spent 5 months in the Nation’s capital serving the people of Idaho under the direction of Senator Crapo and his staff. During my tenure as a Senate intern, I assisted the Senator and his staff on researching pertinent material for the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
During my final semester at ISU, I participated in a Criminal Justice internship with Butte County’s Prosecuting Attorney, Steve Stephens. While interning with Prosecutor Stephens I did weekend ride-alongs with deputies within our county, attended Court proceedings, worked with Prosecutor Stephens on ongoing cases, and attended the Commissioner meetings.
After winning the 2020 Republican primary, Butte County Commissioner Beverly resigned and I was appointed by Governor Little to finish the remainder of her term.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Langseth Some of my proudest accomplishments include interning for Senator Crapo, graduating college, and being appointed by Governor Little as Butte County Commissioner.
Why are you a member of the Republican/Democrat/ Independent/Other party? Briefly explain your political platform.
Langseth Common sense, to me, is a major component in the Republican party. I believe that if there isn’t a big hand of government, individuals and the economy will thrive. The less the government is encroaching on ones daily life, the happier and more self-sufficient society will be.
What are the greatest challenges facing your county?
Langseth Butte County is designated as an outlying county in the Idaho Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. This has made attaining grants difficult since our population is so low and we don’t necessarily fit in the threshold of what an outlying county in an MSA is supposed to be. Lack of water in the Lost River basin is another challenge. This has caused a significant number of residential wells to go dry and hard to get deep enough to get to the water. Funding is another issue that has made projects nonexistent without key grants.
How is your party’s ideology better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than those of your competitor?
Langseth Fiscal responsibility is a major factor in ensuring the longevity and sustainability of Butte County. Ensuring tax dollars are wisely spent in areas of the budget that will make the most beneficial impact for the hard-working residents living in Butte County.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Langseth I have always been able to connect with various individuals in my entire life. I can listen to anyone and understand their struggles to incorporate their needs with others. I am active in my community and it is tight-knit enough that I am available to the constituents almost daily.
What trait, attribute, or experience do you possess that best qualifies you to manage public employees and handle public funding
Langseth I am a competent individual that is person-oriented. I do better around a wide spectrum of people and can manage differing views and policies to find the best fix for all involved. I have always been a firm believer in common sense; and that for the most part, it is the most simple way to handle anything.
What are your views regarding the role of the media in covering your county? How can you best work with local reporters to ensure coverage of the issues?
Langseth Butte County has maintained good connections with the media and being able to get information available when needed by the public. To ensure coverage of local reporters, I think maintaining a good relationship with media outlets and being flexible to ensure we have a voice is key.