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Tibbs is In

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It may have been the least-surprising entry into the mayor's race, but at least Jim Tibbs delivers on speculation. The city councilor and former interim Boise Police chief finally announced his candidacy, after months of positioning, teaser radio ads and a Web site--www.jimtibbs.org--that was up before he was on Tuesday.

"I believe I can bring a new respect and leadership to Boise's office of mayor," Tibbs said. "I'm thinking about the future."

No kidding--in his campaign ads that played on KIDO AM 670, Tibbs talked about planning for "the next seven generations" of Boiseans, a reference, he said, to a Shosone-Paiute philosophy.

He'll take on Mayor Dave Bieter, who has already begun fundraising and is conspicuously hyping the good news about his tenure as mayor. That includes the announcement, in early March, of the results of a survey, paid for by the city, that shows 80 percent of 500 citizens polled said they thought Boise was going in the right direction.

"There's a lot of good will out there," said Bieter. He said citizens are responding to his office's push on better transit, growth management and neighborhood issues.

"We're in on all those things with both feet," Bieter said.

Expect a campaign heavy on growth issues; both candidates talk a lot about transit, although Tibbs is not so overtly boosterish about solutions like commuter rail, as Bieter is. Tibbs, who was named the Idaho drug "czar" by former Gov. Jim Risch, also talked about Idaho's methamphetamine problem.

"My vision is straightforward: Neighborhoods with strong public safety and a high quality of life," Tibbs said.

Bieter, however, is unimpressed by Tibbs' record.

"You didn't hear anything specific because he doesn't have anything specific," Bieter said. "There's been no activity from him."

The election is November 6.