Attorney Steps Up to Challenge Elaine Clegg in City Council Election 

click to enlarge Andy Hawes thinks he can be "young blood" at the table. - CITY OF BOISE
  • City of Boise
  • Andy Hawes thinks he can be "young blood" at the table.
Andy Hawes, an in-house attorney for Western Pacific Timber and native of Boise's Bench neighborhood, has never run a campaign like the one he's mounting to unseat City Council Member Elaine Clegg in this November's election.

It's not that Hawes thinks Clegg, who has held Seat 5 since 2003, is doing a bad job, but he said he has fresh ideas and perspectives on the Boise City Council.

"The city overall is in good shape," Hawes said. "Boise has done very well, especially in recovering from the recession. My approach is to build on what the mayor and the city council has done."

Hawes, 45, said he's used to being the"young blood" at the table: He was one of the youngest serving presidents of the Idaho State Bar in 2008. He also worked as a commissioner on the bar from 2005 to 2008, but that required only a small campaign compared to what he'll need to put together to beat the incumbent.

Hawes told Boise Weekly he's running on four issues. The first is to continue to see Boise's open space protected. He peppers his Twitter account with photos from his hikes and jogs throughout the foothills. He said the new $10 million levy for foothills and Boise River conservation going before voters this fall is a step in the right direction. 

"There needs to be continued discussion on how we can preserve open space within the city and outside the city," he said. "Open space doesn't need to mean protecting 10,000 acres at a time. It can be five acres."

His next "vision" for Boise is to address the root cause of homelessness. As a tent city near Interfaith Sanctuary and the interstate overpass continues to grow, Hawes said the city council should make a concerted effort to work with community leaders and provide shelter for people facing homelessness and chronically homeless people.

"You have to look at those two types of groups and address how to provide shelter for both," he said.

Hawes also thinks the city ought to look at rules and regulations for business owners in the Treasure Valley—some of which he thinks are too strict. For example, when his cousin tried opening a restaurant downtown, the restaurant owner found some of the building codes seemed more strict than other cities. 
Lastly, Hawes said he would push for a new baseball stadium to be built downtown, as well as possibly a soccer stadium. 
click to enlarge TWITTER
  • Twitter

"Boise is ready for a soccer stadium and maybe even an amateur team."

As far as other issues the city council has faced in recent months, Hawes has some differing opinions. For one, he voted "no" on the fire bond, which passed in November 2014. He also calls himself an "Uber user," which has been a bitter fight between the city and the rideshare company since Uber made its debut in Boise last October.

Hawes didn't want to comment on whether he leans left or right on the political spectrum. He said the beauty of serving on the city council is, the political platform doesn't much matter.

Challenging Hawes in his fight for Clegg's seat was a retired Boise firefighter and military veteran named Paul Fortin. Fortin was a vocal proponent of the fire bond, criticizing the fire department for wasting the money it does have. He ran a similar campaign against Council President Maryanne Jordan in 2013, but lost with 4,680 votes while Jordan secured 14,092 votes. 

Fortin withdrew his name earlier this month and said he supports Hawes instead. The election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 3.
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