- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The race for Idaho’s open gubernatorial seat has swerved to focus on each candidate’s financial ties despite the state’s lack of disclosure requirements.

Idaho is one of just two states to not require elected officeholders to disclose their income, employer, property holdings and board memberships. Yet the three top Republican candidates running for governor have touted their promises to be transparent if elected.

No Democratic candidate has filed to run for the top seat. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says he’s not running for a fourth term.

Here’s a look at what’s known so far about each candidate:

TOMMY AHLQUIST

First time political candidate Tommy Ahlquist was the first statewide candidate to voluntarily release his economic assets. According to documents provided by Ahlquist’s campaign, the Boise businessman owns 25 businesses worth $5,000 or more and has 27 investments worth $5,000 or more.

An additional 11 businesses are also connected to Ahlquist, according to the business entity database on the secretary of state’s website. However, campaign staffers say those LLCs are either no longer active businesses or Ahlquist does not have ownership in them.

This includes an LLC named Gardner Ahlquist Property Management that was hit with a federal tax lien in 2012 for failing to pay more than $14,000 in federal taxes. Ahlquist’s campaign, however, said that LLC is no longer active and the tax lien occurred because of an accounting error. The lien was resolved in 2013.

Ahlquist’s salary comes from Gardner Company - a Boise-based development company where he serves as chief operating officer. His wife, Shanna, is listed as a homemaker.

Most of the businesses are various Gardner Company holdings but he also has an ownership in Twin Ambulatory Surgical Center, Meridian Medical Plaza and a Boise defibrillator company he co-founded. He listed the same 25 businesses as sources of income of $5,000 or more.

RAUL LABRADOR

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador’s campaign says the Republican congressman has been required to disclose both his assets and liabilities as a House representative since 2010.

As of 2016, Labrador was ranked as the sixth-poorest member of Congress with a negative average net worth, based on his federal financial disclosures, owing $216,000. According to those reports, Labrador has an IRA and bank account, a mortgage on his home, a line of credit from Zions Bank between $100,000 and $250,000 and up to $15,000 in student loans.

BRAD LITTLE

Lt. Gov. Brad Little has never disclosed his personal assets in his 16 years serving as an elected official in Idaho but he is the grandson of the “sheep king of Idaho,” Andy Little, who came to Emmett in 1884 and built an empire with 100,000 sheep.

Campaign manager Zach Hauge said Little would release his financial interests when contacted by the AP on Thursday - a week after Ahlquist released his assets - promising Little’s economic disclosure would be available in the coming weeks.


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