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Boise Mayoral Candidate, No Stranger to Politics, Says He's 'More Conservative'

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When Boise Mayor Dave Bieter runs for an unprecedented fourth term this November, he'll have at least two competitors: a veteran lawman and a Boise State University student.

Boise State junior Seth Holden, 25, is studying technical communications and French.

Myron Gilbert, 84, served as Ada County Sheriff from 1959 to 1964.

"I don't know if politics really change over time. It's the issues that change," Gilbert told Boise Weekly. "The things I had in mind when I ran for sheriff are certainly different than today's issues. I felt we accomplished our mission back then: to build the sheriff's department into a viable, functioning operation. By the time of my second election, I was the highest vote-getter in the county and I was proud of that."

Gilbert said a "combination of things" inspired his mayoral candidacy.

"I've been somewhat unhappy over the performance in that office for some time now," he said. "And I thought perhaps I could straighten some of those things out."

Gilbert said he was decidedly "more conservative" than Bieter, and when pressed to identify specific opposition to hizzoner, Gilbert pointed to Bieter's 2008 State of the City Address, in which he pushed for a federally funded streetcar analysis (a rebooted effort has been under way at City Hall since 2013).

"One of the things that we differ on is [Bieter's] pet project: that trolley thing," Gilbert said. "I didn't care at all for the idea, not to say that there aren't things that should be done for our transportation system. But the things that he was pointing to at the time appeared to be nothing more than a chance to get a bunch of federal money and waste it."

Gilbert acknowledged running a citywide political campaign isn't cheap but, "I've got some great ideas and enough people around me to help me accomplish that."

Gilbert spoke to BW while he was visiting Alaska with his son-in-law, Dennis Combs of Combs Car Corral. The pair were distributing coats to children of the Athabascan Native American Tribe.

"I'll be heading home soon, and then we'll start the campaign," he said.