A letter on running for office in Idaho…

Many of you have asked me whether I’ll be running for State Representative again, and I wanted to let you know my thoughts on this.  If you want the short answer, jump to the end of this message.

I am still committed to improving the political landscape of this District and the State of Idaho, and I trust that you are as well.  I believe there are some steps that must occur before we can reasonably expect a Democratic candidate to win here.

The first is that we need to have working Democratic Committees set up in each county.  Particularly in Caribou, Oneida and Franklin Counties.  The fact is, there are many more Democrats in all of these counties than anyone believes, and between my campaign records and those of the State Party, we can help to build that organization.  But without a core group committed to changing the status quo, and willing to meet regularly towards that end, nothing will move forward.

The filing period for all candidates for this next election is from February 27 to March 9, only weeks away.  If you are interested in seeing a functional Democratic Committee in your county, now is the time to ask your friends and neighbors to run for Precinct Captain.  Our government was designed by the founding fathers to be a grassroots organization, and one thing preventing that from happening is the lack of participation.  We can blame it on the influence of money on politics, but the answer is people getting involved.

Here’s how it works:

People run for the easy job of Precinct Captains (also called Precinct Committeemen) in the primary.  There will be one elected from each voting precinct.  You may have to ask others to run.  It is extremely simple, requiring no signatures, just a simple form.  You can email me for the form, or pick one up at the County courthouse.  Make copies and hand them to everyone who you think should run.  They don’t have to campaign.  People who would make good Precinct Captains are anyone who would like to see some changes and who has the willingness to participate and be involved.

Those people get elected in the primary in May, and shortly after that they get together and select a willing Chair, Vice-Chair, and secretary from anyone they choose for their County organization.  They also get together with the Precinct Captains from the Legislative District and select officers for the District organization. And they make a decision to meet again on a regular basis.

That is the foundation of our government system.  It’s simple.  But without it, nothing changes.  People getting together regularly to discuss and plan will change things in Idaho.  The State Party and other local and regional organizations can help once that basic system is in place, and it will grow and find a life of its own.

The second thing that will need to happen to get a Democrat elected in this part of Idaho is getting candidates on the ballot.  Sometimes having candidates on the ballot helps to get a party organization moving, sometimes it happens the other way around.  But without multiple Democrats on the ballot, there will continue to be a lack of media and public interest in campaigns and elections.  And nothing will change.

So those are the things it will take to get me or anyone to run as a Democrat and actually have a chance at winning.  It could happen in two years, or it could take ten or more.

I may throw my name in the ring anyway for this election, but I would accept no money and I won’t go door-to-door campaigning.  If I run, it will be to get an idea of how many people out there want to see change, and are willing to vote Democrat, knowing little else.

Thanks for all your past support, encouragement, and patience.

P.S. – Please let me know if you or any other local Democrats plan to run for any office in this election.

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Ralph

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Comments (1)

I’m sorry to be ignorant, but who is this gentleman?

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