I am proud to be an Idaho Democrat today.
I am also proud of the historic effort we put forth. In a year when political pundits across the country predicted a red wave — and as our state faces significant migration from activists seeking to build their far-right movement here — we held strong.
It was initially reported that we held our margins in the Idaho House and Senate. An unfortunate vote count reporting error ultimately means that we have a net loss of one seat. Still, this is a far cry from the wins Republicans thought they could rack up. Crucially, Democrats beat back some of the most far-right, Idaho Freedom Foundation-backed Republicans on the ballot in Pocatello and West Boise. This is something to celebrate.
I offer my heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to the Democratic candidates, staff, volunteers and donors who came together for our unprecedented effort.
Because of your support, we executed the largest coordinated campaign in our history, knocking on nearly 74,000 doors, calling more than 100,000 voters, and texting another 300,000. We had more staff on the ground across the state, facilitating more face-to-face conversations and registering voters, than ever before.
I shudder to imagine what the election outcome would have been without this tremendous effort. And I’m confident that our investments in grassroots outreach and infrastructure will lay the groundwork necessary to end the Republican supermajority within the decade.
This is critical, because when it comes to Idaho’s political future there is a lot at stake.
Extremism has taken over the Idaho Republican Party and their platform offers a dark vision for our state. Their agenda includes taking away your right to vote for your U.S. senators, reversing marriage equality, outlawing abortion even if the patient will die, making it harder to cast your ballot with party “purity tests” and other restrictions, repealing Medicaid expansion, privatizing Social Security and more. It’s an agenda rooted in the consolidation and abuse of power.
Idaho Democrats have a moral imperative to resist this agenda. And voters are with us.
Recent polling from the Idaho Statesman again demonstrated that Idahoans want the commonsense solutions that Idaho Democrats are working hard to deliver. Whether it’s the repeal of the sales tax on food, rebalancing our property taxes to help homeowners, allowing cancer patients to use prescribed medical cannabis for relief, or protecting LGBTQ Idahoans from senseless discrimination, we know Idaho Democrats are aligned with the majority of Idaho voters.
My greatest takeaway from the 2022 Election is this: We can rise to meet this moment, but it will take all of us.
We must redouble our efforts to meet voters at the doors, introduce ourselves, and uncover our many areas of agreement. We must focus on what Democrats want to deliver for Idahoans: great schools in every zip code, fair tax policy that lifts up working families and reproductive freedoms. And if we can have enough of these conversations — as we did in Legislative District 15 — Republican voters will cross over and vote for Democrats.
Now is not the time to let off the gas. The 2023 Legislative Session is less than two months away. At a time where the only thing the Idaho Republican Party can seem to agree on is taking away the rights and freedoms of Idahoans, we must be ready to fight back.
Get involved. Become a Democratic Party precinct captain, commit to making phone calls, run for office. Or, start a small monthly gift today to fund these efforts.
We need you. Idaho needs you.
Chair, Idaho Democratic Party