Correction: Idaho Governor-Native American Candidate story

BOISE, Idaho – In a story July 7 about an Idaho gubernatorial candidate, The Associated Press reported erroneously the religious conviction of the former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus. Andrus was not Mormon.

The Associated Press also falsely reported that the two top governor candidates support repealing Idaho’s 6 percent sales tax. The two support repealing the tax on groceries.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Breakout Idaho governor candidate faces uphill race

Democrat Paulette Jordan breaks the mold of the typical Idaho candidate, but she faces an uphill battle to the governor, in the GOP dominant state.


Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Democrat Paulette Jordan breaks the mold of the typical Idaho candidate.

She is the first woman to win her party’s nomination for the governor of a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the topmost position in almost 30 years. And if she pulls off the upset against Lt. Gov. Brad Little in November, Jordan, a member of the Coeur d’alene Tribe, the first Native American governor of the US state.

It will not be easy. It is hard to get a Democrat in Idaho, are struggling with a lack of legislative influence within the Statehouse, and consistently lose against the extreme right and the congress opponents. The last time Idaho voters elected a Democrat for governor in 1990.

Former four-term Gov. Cecil Andrus was white and male — the important characteristics in a state, which is the second-highest Mormon population outside of Utah. In the social field, he appealed to conservative voters by being pro-gun and anti-abortion.

Jordan, 38, promotes more gun control and argues for an expansion of Medicaid. She is a former two-term state representative with a long history of cooperation at the tribal council. They attracted national attention from the media and the progressives have billed her as the new face of the Democratic y.

In the May 15 Democratic primary, Jordan crushed her 74-year-old opponent A. J. Balukoff by securing almost 60 percent of the votes. Jordan’s supporters broke election turnout expectations, allowing county clerks to quickly print ballots, the day of the primary question.

When results finally came later that night, Jordan stood before an admiring crowd, dancing and singing along with the music at a party they hosted several blocks down from the Idaho Democratic y more subdued meeting.

But the questions swirling around her campaign, the ability to pull off an upset over a Little in November.

During the last weeks of the primary, Jordan’s campaign imploded with the loss of key members of staff who, despite their initial strong allegiance to the candidate. The departure came at a time when she had no mentions of current or former Democratic lawmakers.

Distancing themselves from being just a party loyalist can pay in Idaho, said Jaclyn Kettler, a Boise State University political scientist.

“In a state that values independence and individualism, that is logical,” Kettler said. “Not required to be a party can be a attractive thing to a voter in the assessment of a candidate.”

The numbers are also stacked against Jordan. While about 65,000 Idahoans voted in the Democratic primary, more than 194,000 voters cast a vote in the GOP primary, which ensures that only registered Republicans to participate.

Jordan downplayed those concerns in a recent interview with The Associated Press, say the people are ready for a fresh solutions to Idaho’s long-term challenges.

“My goal is to create one Idaho,” Jordan said. “I’m not going anywhere. My children are here, and if I say to my children, I consider all of the children in Idaho my children. The pursuit of a better future is not a partisan issue.”

Jordan mentioned two main priorities if elected: improving education, particularly by improving teacher pay for K-12, the creation of a universal preschool program, and reduce the costs of tuition fees and expand access to health care in the country.

However, how Jordan plans on the implementation or funding for these efforts remains unclear.

During the first campaign, Jordan pointed to the legalization of marijuana as a possible way to spike tax revenues to cover the costs of its proposals. The benefit would be two-fold, they argued, because it would lead to a new source of revenue, while also freeing up funds more and more away from Idaho’s growing prison population.

But when asked post-primary about how they would convince a Republican dominant Statehouse to approve recreational marijuana, Jordan put the burden of proof rests with lawmakers and not themselves to make it happen.

“Let them say no to the alternative medicine,” Jordan said.

When told that the Statehouse has repeatedly refused to consider the recreational and medical marijuana proposals, and instead a decision is made to swear never to do so, Jordan responded with “Well, let them do it again.”

Jordan does not offer an alternative for how they would pay for higher teacher pay, expanding healthcare access.

Her struggle is even more trouble with her opponent flip a number of her priorities.

On the health care system, has said he will support the will of the people if a proposal to expand Medicaid in Idaho qualify for the November ballot and passes. On education, Little has said that he supports increasing teacher pay and will not sign off on the tax cuts if they threaten the expenditure for education. The two also agree with you that the state of the current 6 percent tax on groceries should be withdrawn.

Jordan bristles at the suggestion that they and some Small parts of political views, and they criticized his involvement in the health problems.

As lieutenant-governor, had little control over passing legislation.

Jordan says he “could have done more” to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid.

“He had a chance to get health care to Idaho, now it’s my turn,” she said.

But even if Jordan does not win the top elected office, her potential and the excitement around her campaign has led to a number of fear among Idaho Republicans.

During the state GOP convention on 30 June, the shadow of Jordan ‘ s campaign haunted the event, with delegates repeatedly with the warning that her star power could sway other seats.

“I’m a little worried about down ticket races with Paulette Jordan,” said Bryan Smith of Idaho Falls, during a speech to the GOP delegates. “If we are not careful, the governor’s race will suck all the oxygen out of the room and we lose down ticket races.”

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