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Tommy Ahlquist Announces Bid for Governor at Eighth and Main Tower

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- Dr. Tommy Ahlquist officially announced he will run for Idaho governor. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Dr. Tommy Ahlquist officially announced he will run for Idaho governor.
The Eighth and Main tower has one of the most commanding views of the Treasure Valley to be found anywhere. From the 17th floor, developer and emergency room physician Dr. Tommy Ahlquist can look down at the office where he'd like to work: the governor's.

"I have tried to live my life in a way that I can serve others," he said, announcing his gubernatorial candidacy as a Republican.

At a public announcement for his campaign, where he was introduced by three-time Olympic Gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, he laid out the key planks of his candidacy, which include slashing business regulations, and consolidating local control over education standards and health care delivery. In his announcement, he called the Affordable Care Act "a disaster."

"We believe state delivery of health care is better than federal delivery of health care," he said.

Ahlquist has a long resume of achievement and public service, but this is his first foray into politics. He works the occasional ER shift as a physician at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center and founded a company that offers national public access to defibrillation equipment. Wearing his developer hat as chief operating officer of Gardner Company, he filled in the Boise Hole—the current site of the Eighth and Main building—constructed the recently completed City Center Plaza and is now going forward with the Pioneer Crossing project.

He is the latest addition to a growing field of Republican gubernatorial candidates, which so far includes Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Russ Fulcher. Ahlquist's hand was forced when a complaint was filed with the Idaho secretary of state's office that he had been "campaigning" at GOP-sponsored events, which "got [me] into a little trouble, I guess," Ahlquist said. There is also widespread speculation that District 1 U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador will throw his hat in the ring. The primary is set for May 2018.

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