Nelson beats out Foreman

David Nelson unseated freshman State Sen. Dan Foreman by roughly 2,933 votes Tuesday, unofficial election results from the Secretary of State’s office show.

Nelson secured 11,197 votes, or 57.5 percent support compared to Dan Foreman’s share of the vote: 42.5 percent or 8,264 votes, the unofficial results show.

Foreman was a staunch conservative in the legislature who became known for occasional public outbursts. In March, he yelled “abortion is murder” at students affiliated with University of Idaho’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter who were lobbying lawmakers at the statehouse. Last October, Foreman shouted insults at a man at the Latah County Fair, calling him a “liberal nuttard.”

Nelson said Wednesday when the results came in, he thought, “The people of Latah and Benewah counties agree with me that we need to bring better civility back into our government. They want a representative who will listen to them respectfully and try to solve problems in a non-partisan way.”

He said he is set on going to the Capitol to head up issues relating to education funding and Medicaid expansion.

“We need to get better teacher pay. We haven’t funded the University of Idaho well in the past 10 years,” Nelson said. “And I would like to put an increased emphasis on higher education to make sure we don’t keep putting tuition pressure on students at the university.”

Foreman was among two lawmakers who voted against a bill providing funding to public colleges and universities in March.

In 2017, he was the only one to oppose, the Lewiston Tribune reports. When Foreman opposed it this year, he told the Tribune: “It’s wrong to take public dollars to push a political agenda. I think UI does that – and it’s a left-wing, exceedingly liberal agenda. I don’t object to a liberal viewpoint, but I want to see balance.”

On Medicaid expansion, Nelson said he supports full expansion as passed by the voters through Proposition 2, but he said he would be open to waivers that exempt coverage. Nelson said he would not support waivers that stipulate work requirements for recipients, saying that such standards contribute towards a notion that those on the public assistance program are unemployed.

“60 percent of the people in the gap population do work at minimum wage jobs. We don’t need to treat them as second-class citizens and use those myths that they don’t work,” Nelson said. “We just need to implement Medicaid expansion and get them healthcare so they can have more productive lives.”

Kyle Pfannenstiel can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter: @pfannyyy.

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