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For the week of July 17 - 23, 2002


Democrats tout candidates on five-day tour of Idaho

Express Staff Writer

The Democratic Party’s major candidates made a 28-stop, five-day campaign tour of Idaho last week, renewing accusations that the state’s majority party has sold out education and short-changed the people of Idaho.

"This is a Democratic year in the state of Idaho," Cecil Andrus, a top party leader and the only man elected governor four times, told supporters outside Whittier School in Boise at the start of the tour July8. "The issues are in our favor."

Senatorial candidate Alan Blinken greets his supporters during the five-day, 28-stop campaign tour he and the state’s other major Democratic candidates have embarked on. Express photo by Willy Cook

The next day, after stops across the southern part of the state, a caravan of Democrats, including a patriotic-colored bus, stopped at Paul’s Market in Hailey, where approximately 40 supporters greeted the candidates. Local Democratic candidates, Sen. Clint Stennett, Rep. Wendy Jaquet and state House of Representatives candidate Donna Pence from Gooding, helped stump for their fellow party candidates.

Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady, senate candidate Allan Blinken, Second Congressional District candidate Edward Kinghorn, state controller candidate Bob Sonnichsen, their staffs and some of the Democratic Party’s state leadership said the tour was an opportunity to communicate with voters and to listen to voter concerns.

"We’re waging a full-scale, at least comparable campaign with the Republicans, and, frankly, I think we’re going to win," said Brady, who faces Gov. Dirk Kempthorne for the state’s top office. "We’ve been handed a great opportunity by the mistakes the Republicans have made. This is kind of like a window opening."

Candidate after candidate blasted Kempthorne and his GOP legislative majority for imposing the first ever cut in state support for public schools.

"They’ve shortchanged the people of this state," charged Blinken, a retired Wall Street investment banker and Wood River Valley resident challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Larry Craig. "They’ve shortchanged the children of this state."

Kinghorn, who will face off against two-term incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson, said it is time for a Second District representative to start working for the people of Idaho. He charged that Simpson’s voting record indicates national party leadership aspirations.

"Right now, Idaho needs someone who’s going to stay home," Kinghorn said. "Our greatest export is our young people. The thing that’s worrying me is if we keep going the way we’re going.

"Rural America is going to have to be brave enough to follow men like Allan Blinken and Jerry Brady into the Twenty First Century."

State controller candidate Sonnichsen, who faces Republican candidate Keith Johnson and Libertarian Suzanne Gribbin, said the statewide tour was an excellent opportunity for candidates and seemed to be well received.

"Everywhere we go, we hear people come out excited about this," he said.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.