Idaho gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist on Oct. 5 said he owns 25 businesses and has 27 investments worth more than $5,000, in an announcement aimed at fulfilling a campaign promise to disclose his wealth.
However, the Republican’s economic interest disclosure does not include a range of how much each asset is worth and does not include any of Ahlquist’s possible liabilities. Unlike federal economic disclosure requirements, it is impossible to determine a range of Ahlquist’s net worth under the information his campaign provided.
Idaho is one of two states that do not require candidates or its governor to release personal financial information.
“It’s time for less talk and more action in Boise — and requiring elected officials to disclose this information will fill a gaping hole that has persisted in Idaho’s ethics laws for far too long,” Ahlquist said in a prepared statement.
According to the information provided by the campaign, 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.
Ahlquist has an ownership in 25 businesses based primarily in the Boise area. 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.
He then reported 27 investments worth more than $5,000, listing two life insurance companies and the previous 25 businesses he owns.
Ahlquist sits on the boards for the FACES of Hope Foundation, Idaho Technology Council and Boise Chamber of Commerce. He owns two properties in Boise and McCall.
Ahlquist’s disclosure drew criticism from U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, who is also running for the open governor’s seat in 2018.
Scott Phillips, a senior strategist for that campaign, said Labrador has been required to disclose his assets under much more vigorous standards as a House representative since 2010.
“A disclosure doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t include both sides of the balance sheet,” Phillips said.
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.
Lt. Gov. Brad Little — who is also running for governor’s — did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. However, Little has previously said he is open to the idea, but has not specified when or if he’ll release his monetary interests.
The last open gubernatorial race was in 2006. Back then, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter entered the race with his financial interests already disclosed — ranging from $3.9 million to $12 million — also because of his congressional background. Otter has since said he won’t run for a fourth term.
No major Democratic candidate has filed for the top elected seat.