Best to challenge Nielsen for House seat this fall

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Dawn Best

Dawn Best has announced her candidacy to run on the Democratic ticket for State Representative, House Seat 22B, currently held by Republican Pete Nielsen.

District 22 is composed of Boise and Elmore counties.

Best, a graduate of Mountain Home High School, has lived in Idaho for over 20 years, most of that time in Elmore and Boise Counties. She is a resident of Boise County, but has strong ties to Elmore County where her father, Donald Best, a retired Air Force veteran, and her mother, Gail Best, the current Elmore County Clerk, have been living since 1985.

Dawn is employed as a registered nurse and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Nursing.

"I decided to run for state rep because I care about the people who live in this district," she said.

"We are seeing so many changes in the midst of rapid growth. We have to preserve what we love about these counties, but still improve the lives of the people who live here and increase their opportunities."

She said that she also believes that voters should have a choice when they go to the polls.

"Boise County has not had adequate representation in the Idaho Legislature for a long time. District 22 currently has one senator and two representatives, all from Elmore County. The two counties are very different and I believe Boise County deserves to have at least one candidate on the ballot.

"As a Boise County resident who grew up in Mountain Home, I am in a unique position to stand up for the voters of both counties," Best said.

A number of issues caused her to run.

"As a registered nurse, I'm very concerned about health care and the fact that so many Idahoans are not receiving the medical care they need because they are uninsured or under-insured," Best said.

"Also, I want housing and property taxes to be affordable."

She also noted that she is "worried that big money and out-of-state interests are starting to interfere with the quality of life that regular Idahoans have enjoyed for years. I think they have too much influence with the current state legislature.

"I don't want our public lands sold off to the highest bidder. I believe there are better solutions for funding roads and schools.

And, she said, "I will fight for affordable, accessible, quality health care for Idaho citizens; good schools, good teachers, and the best education possible for Idaho children; and policies that help small towns, small businesses, and farms to thrive."

Best said that her work as an active community volunteer has also spurred her to seek office.

She is the current president of the Wilderness Ranch Owners Association and also a Guardian Ad Litem for the CASA program, advocating for minors who have been placed in the child protection system due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

"The number of children in the system continues to increase dramactically, largely due to substance abuse. Meth use is such a huge problem in our counties, but our current representatives haven't made it much of a priority," said Best. "I want stronger laws in place for adults who knowingly permit or cause a child to use a controlled substance. Charging these people with Injury to a Child just isn't enough."

Best also works as a volunteer EMT for Mores Creek Ambulance and as a fire/rescue volunteer for Wilderness Ranch Fire Protection District.

She believes that work makes her an excellent advocate for public safety.

"As a volunteer EMT, I've learned that just a little bit of help from the legislature could make a tremendous difference for our citizen's health and safety. Our counties are struggling to pay for emergency services. I will fight for better state laws that would support emergency services," Best said.

Best believes her knowledge of both counties and her professional and volunteer experience will make her a good legislator.

"I'm a good listener who knows it takes teamwork to create success," Best said. "I plan to run a grassroots campaign and look forward to meeting and speaking with as many people as possible."

Best said that she would be happy to meet with individuals or groups in District 22 who would like to discuss any issues or concerns.

To contact Best, call 344-3033 or contact her via e-mail at

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