Latah County deserves better

I had a disturbingly revealing Facebook exchange with Latah County Commission candidate Gabriel Rench on Monday. I was dismayed hearing his speech at the Moscow rally in April, but I’m outraged that this candidate for public office, running as a “conservative Christian,” refuses my plea that he condemn the anti-Semitic remarks by Ammon Bundy at the Boise protest May 2.

In our dialogue on my public Facebook page, he refused to say if he was at the Bundy rally, pretending, bizarrely, to not know what I was talking about and then, through his pastor, Doug Wilson, insisting later there were three such rallies in Boise that weekend. He then deleted all reference on his campaign page to a Boise rally he had promoted for that weekend.

I was clear that his attendance wasn’t the point, and I haven’t found evidence of three separate protests at the Capitol that weekend.

I simply wanted him to condemn Bundy’s remarks, and he more than refused. An honest man would be straightforward; a decent man would condemn anti-Semitism from someone whose disregard for COVID-19 restrictions Rench enthusiastically applauds.

I’m stunned at the disingenuous manner in which he conducted our exchange: Refusing to confirm his attendance at the Bundy rally, pretending to not know what I was talking about, suggesting a multitude of similar Capitol protests that weekend, deleting his promotion of a Boise “Liberate Idaho”-type protest at the Capitol, and ultimately refusing to condemn Bundy’s egregious comments.

These are not the actions of a man fit for office, or even deserving of a place on the ballot. Gabe Rench is a coward. Latah County needs better.

Keely Emerine-Mix

Moscow

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