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Ugh. I wish Lewis would run for something else. Two great candidates and only one will make it.

The Nickel-Plated JA

This doesn't bother me as much as it does Jessica apparently. First, contested Primaries are good for the Party -- it helps produce better (battle-hardened) candidates, and it builds (by virtue of even having a contest) a lot of solid early exposure. Second, Lewis has a lot of the solid First-District bona-fides I was concerned that Grant had been lacking (particularly the ties to North Idaho in general and U of I specifically). And third, Lewis isn't a lawyer, which counts for something since Sali *is* and we often, methinks, put off a lot of voters by saturating our ticket with lawyers.

On the other hand, I'm still left wanting more; neither candidate is as young as I would hope (they're both Boomers), Lewis' ties to Southwestern Idaho are as thin as Grant's to North Idaho, and neither of them really screams "mobilize the working people" to me right now. Show me a 40-something (or younger), blue-collar (or at least onetime Union member), U of I alum who has lived all-over the First District, and I'll show you a candidate who excites me about his (or her) chances!

sharon fisher

I agree with you that Larry Grant would have won if he'd gotten more support from the national party.

Julie in Boise

The GOP and Club for Growth put more than a million bucks into the 1st CD in the last two months.

The national Dems gave us, um, $40K - in late October.

Grant's on their radar now. (We even got a cheesecake from Rahm ... click my name.)

Can Lewis say the same? Can anyone else? Not so much.

NPJA, once we get campaign finance reform sorted out, I'll like contested primaries a lot more. These days, we need acceptable Dems who can raise pots of money. That's the way things are.


Larry's gonna kick Rand Lewis' pasty butt.

Julie in Boise

But Bubblehead, he's got military cred. Don't you think that's gonna count for something?

Julie in Boise

Just one other thought for now, mostly related to NPJA's comment about North Idaho cred.

Our districts are way too damn big in this state. If and when we get a third seat, Boise and most of its burbs to the Oregon border ought to have one seat; everything north of, say, Horsehoe Bend ought to have one; and everything east of here the other.

I'm just saying these lines off the top of my head. I know it'll take some doing toget the population splits right. But it's ludicrous that Democratic Boise is divided into two districts.

I know - tell that to the Repubs who will control the resdistricting. All the more reason to get Dems in control of the process by the time this happens.

The Nickel-Plated JA

Republicans don't control the redistricting in this state though: it's a six-person commission, three appointed by Democrats and three by Republicans (the State Party Chairs and the floor leaders of each house of Leg. from either party appoint one member each). All the more reason to make sure we have Party leaders with a dogfight mentality!

And as far as cred goes in the 1st District, consider this: No candidate lacking a degree from *some* institution in the Northwest has won the District since before Gracie Pfost (Link's School of Business), and since her term of office, only three people who held the seat didn't have a degree from U of I: LaRocco (U of Portland), Chenoweth (Whitworth), and Otter (BJC and Albertson). West of Horseshoe Bend Road to the Oregon Line, and North to Porthill (basically, almost the entire 1st District), Vandal cred still rules -- and has defined the successes for Republicans like Craig, Kempthorne, McClure, Symms, and Risch.

And yes, I grew up in Boise when most of the city was in the 1st District -- the line in the 80s split the North End and went right through the Capitol (Senate/West side 1st District, House/East side 2nd), then carved up the Bench somewhere around Roosevelt or Orchard (splitting the then-competetive District 15, progenitor of the modern 17). I consider it a personal tragedy that current redistricting left my old neighborhood (Collister -- basically just closer-in NoWeBo) in the 2nd District, where it had never been before -- and it shows; when I block-walked those areas a lot of people were unaware Hansen-Simpson was *their* race, and I saw Sali signs East of Collister.

I like Rand Lewis' resume a lot; I'm hoping to meet him soon. I have some concerns (which I mentioned above), but he's a Vandal and frankly, someone who 20 years ago I could have imagined myself growing up to become (if that makes sense). The DCCC may be talking about money for Grant but they can't spend it before the Primary -- and are likely to do the same for whoever the nominee turns out to be (as long as that person is credible). And don't forget, Grant has some private fund-raising hurdles to deal with, like his years as consiglieri for the largest anti-Union employer (well, OK, the largest private employer period) in the state.

The Nickel-Plated JA

Oh, and one other thought about Vandal cred: don't think for a minute it was coincidental that Sali's campaign material was BLACK on GOLD.... He may also have an undergrad degree from BSU, but that campaign knew *exactly* what subtle, subconscious buttons to push in the 1st District.

Lewis Campaign

If anyone wants to get a hold of Rand Lewis feel free to contact me at somppi@randlewisforcongress.com I am working his campaign. Actually Julie I met you down at the Frank Church Dinner earlier this year if you remember. But if anyone has questions, comments, suggestions, or just wants to get to know Rand I can help put you in contact with him.


Military cred? He was a staff corps officer -- anyone who isn't a medical type or a lawyer who intentionally does staff corps stuff is suspect.

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