NAMPA — Jana Warner and Jaron Crane are running to become representative of District 12, Seat B.
Warner and Crane, both Republicans, are the only people running for the seat; whichever candidate wins on May 17 effectively wins the seat.
AN AMAZON LOGISTICS SPECIALIST AND A BUSINESSMAN
Warner currently works as a logistics specialist for Amazon. She has worked in education and has friends and family who do, too, she said.
She wants to work to support educators and others who work in that sphere, and wants to address other issues facing the state, in spite of increasingly divisive and “frustrating” politics, she said.
“It’s frustrating to see lies that are on social media, or people just kind of believing things that are not true,” Warner said. “There’s some opportunities to do better … my main focus is for the teachers and the educators,” she said.
Crane completed his contract with the Idaho Army National Guard in 2019. He is the vice president of Crane Alarm Service. He considered running for office when a legislative seat was vacated by Gary Collins, but it did not feel like the right time — he was in the process of buying and acquiring the American Fire Protection company with his brother, Brent Crane. Brent Crane is an incumbent representative running unopposed for District 12 House Seat A.
Jaron Crane is the son of Ron G. Crane, a former Idaho state treasurer, according to his campaign website. His political experience includes working on his father’s and brother’s campaigns for office, he said.
As a business owner during the pandemic, he grew concerned about actions taken by state and federal government that limited people’s freedoms, he said. He felt it was the right time to run, and he realized there was an open seat due to the state’s redistricting process.
“When I look at Idaho, I wouldn’t say, ‘oh my word, it needs completely revamped. It needs completely redone and I’m the person to do that,’” he said. “I wouldn’t say that. When I look at Idaho, there are things we need to improve and there’s things we can do better.”
WARNER’S PRIORITY HIGHLIGHTS: EDUCATION
Warner says she has advocated for years to improve the benefits that teachers receive. Having worked in education, she knows how expensive health care premiums can be for family coverage, she said.
Yet health care coverage for state employees at large seems highly sought-after, she said. She began calling the governor’s office to push for change.
“I believe I finally was able to make some connections,” she said. “I looked at the budget recommendation and it was like, spending $200 million, and what are the school districts … and individuals really getting?”
This year, the Legislature passed HB 443, which will provide teachers health care coverage with the same standards as other state employees. If elected, Warner says she would welcome the opportunity to continue working to support teachers, and finding common ground with legislators with varying political beliefs. She liked seeing that legislators, in discussing education, often talked about personally knowing someone who works in education.
“I just would love to have that opportunity to bridge this Democrat-Republican (divide),” she said.
CRANE’S PRIORITY HIGHLIGHTS: TAXES, FINANCIAL LITERACY
If elected, Crane would like to help change property tax law in the state, he said. To do so, he said he would like to “have a conversation with people a lot smarter than myself that know tax policy, and know numbers for the state, about how we can provide some property tax relief.”
Given how many people care about the issue, “I’d like to at least be part of the conversation regarding (solving) that,” he said.
Crane also highlighted education about finances as a need in the state. Schools often don’t have a course or a requirement for students to build skills such as writing a check or balancing a budget, he said.
As an employer, he has warned new employees during the hiring process that they shouldn’t count on taking home the entire salary he is hiring them at due to taxes, he said.
“I think if we could mandate some kind of financial literacy courses in high school as a requirement for graduation, we’re going to see a happier workforce,” he said.
To further increase people’s understanding of taxes, he would like to see people have to turn in a physical check for income taxes and property taxes, he said.
“I’m going to have to work on how the draft language will be in a bill like this, but I would actually like to … have to physically go turn in a check for our income taxes and property taxes as opposed to them automatically being taken out,” he said. “When you see how much you’re physically giving the government, you’re probably going to ask the question, ‘now, what are you doing with that?’”
Such a measure would make people “wake up and get involved in their government,” he said.
Warner does not appear to have fundraised any money, according to a search in the Idaho Secretary of State’s campaign fundraising portal.
Crane has received $18,101 from 29 donors, according to the site. Donations appear to be from individuals, as well as entities such as the Campaign for Working Family PAC, and “Mary Souza for Idaho Souza.”