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Soto stops in Wallace

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | September 21, 2020 1:40 PM

WALLACE — A chance meeting at the Sierra Silver Mine Tour led to the Shoshone News-Press getting a one-on-one interview with congressional candidate Rudy Soto.

Soto was making a round of campaign stops before stopping in Wallace, largely due to the recommendations of several people who told him that if he was coming to North Idaho he simply had to check it out.

With his mobile campaign headquarters, Soto is navigating through the district discussing the foundational principles of his election bid, some of which make a lot of sense for Shoshone County.

“I’m running for everyday Idahoans and Americans,” Soto said. “Folks who are struggling to make ends meet and simply seeking a fair shot at the American dream.”

Soto referenced his father, a factory worker who lost his medical insurance when he lost his job and ultimately succumbed to cancer due to a lack of access to proper treatment.

But it’s not just health care that Soto is concerned with, he is focused on rural Idaho and bridging the technological gap for folks who don’t have access to quality internet service.

“I want my campaign to focus on kitchen table issues, not all of the D.C. noise,” Soto said. “I’m focusing on rural issues. I know I’m from Nampa, but it’s nothing like Boise — it may be 15 minutes away, but it’s worlds apart. When it comes to issues like reliable internet access that’s a top priority for me.”

For Soto it’s all about fairness – he would like to see every Idahoan have access to quality, reliable internet so things like education, telehealth, entrepreneurship and small business are viable options for rural communities.

“The internet is key to people not being left behind,” Soto said. “I think that the pandemic has shown us just how much it is needed.”

Internet and health care are big time issues in Idaho, but Soto, who has served as a congressional staffer also plans on joining the Problem Solvers Caucus if he is elected.

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a group of 25 House Republicans and 25 House Democrats that works on solutions to bipartisan issues and has had some success on topics like trade, rules reform, immigration, and even coronavirus response.

The caucus is chaired by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

Soto realizes that northern and southern Idaho are essentially two different worlds, but wants to make it his goal of being accessible for his potential constituents, which is where his mobile campaign headquarters comes into play.

“The district is so big, I have this idea of having mobile office hours so that people can reach me and set times to meet with me,” Soto said. “You’ve got to be accessible.”

Soto (D) is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Idaho's 1st Congressional District against Republican incumbent Russ Fulcher in the General Election on Nov. 3.