It’s a department that’s scope spreads from fighting wildfire to influencing timber, fishing, and agriculture.

While often overlooked, the Commissioner of Public Lands has turned into a very competitive race this year, since this is also an open seat. Current Commissioner Peter Goldmark unexpectedly withdrew from running for re-election.

The two candidates vying for his job are Democrat Hillary Franz, an attorney and former executive director of Futurewise, and Republican Steven McLaughlin, a retired U.S. Navy Commander.

Topics discussed

  • Wildfire strategy and preparedness
  • Balance of conservation and supporting resource based industry
  • Overseeing state trust lands and money for schools
  • Addressing the critics
  • Biggest environmental concern facing the state
  • Initiative 732, the proposed carbon tax, tax swap