Paulette Jordan wants to become this state’s first Democratic governor in more than 20 years — and its first female governor, and first Native American governor.
If she wins, she’d also be the first Native American governor in the country.
On Tuesday night, Jordan, a state representative, won the Democratic primary for governor in Idaho, taking about 58 percent of the vote. She beat business owner and Boise school board member A.J. Balukoff, 72, who was running for the nomination for a second time with backing of much of the state establishment.
“We are all one. Like all of you, I am a Westerner. I was raised by Idaho,” she told cheering supporters gathered at a local Boise bar for a victory party. “I come here on the vision and the prayer of our ancestors. They suffered and sacrificed for far too long for us to not see this win tonight. We have a better Idaho and we’ve seen that tonight.”
She won the chance to face Lt. Gov. Brad Little, 64, a longtime Idaho politician, rancher and business owner who ran on a platform that included lower taxes, better jobs, a balanced budget and public land access. He beat out U.S. Rep. Raúl R. Labrador and Tommy Ahlquist, a real estate developer and physician.