Outside, Boise State University football fans huddled in drizzling rain under tarps and around grills for pre-game frivolity. Inside, Vandals, Broncos, Bengals and many others prepared to enter the full-contact world of Idaho politics. This weekend, about 70 people attended the Politics A to Z campaign training for Idaho Democratic campaign workers at the BSU Student Union Building.
Most evident during the day: Idaho Democrats are strong and getting stronger. Our pool of talent has grown deeper. That pool’s depths hold healing properties that we need to bring balance back to Idaho’s government.
A to Z, a free event sponsored and hosted by Idaho Democratic Party and Idaho Young Democrats, is both an opportunity for campaign workers to train for campaigns and network with elected leaders and campaign teams for statewide and legislative races. Legislators in attendance included Boise Reps. Mat Erpelding, Holli Woodings, and Sue Chew. Campaign representatives from the Ringo for Idaho 1st Congressional District race, as well as others that have not yet announced, were also on hand scouting for prospective campaign help.
Political consultants, including pollster David Winkler of Project New America in Colorado as well as representatives from Idaho-based firms of Hilltop Public Solutions and Strategies 360 presented. Other presenters included campaign professionals fresh off the high-profile Yes! Yes! for Boise bond campaign: Shelby Scott and Tom Hamilton. IDP staff, who serve campaigns at all levels, shared expertise as well.
Such training is essential to honing a sharp edge to achieve victories in Idaho. While the state is in the early stages of shifting away from 20 years of GOP control (with help from GOP officials who have squandered public trust by wasteful spending and, in some cases, downright unseemly or criminal behavior), success will require hard work and smart work.
Workers learned the basics of field work, communication work and fundraising. They also learned what tools are available to best connect candidates with voters.
Thanks to all who participated: Trainers and attendees alike. We are all in this together to lift Idaho families, businesses and communities to prosperity.