I consider myself a pretty ordinary Idaho citizen and never thought I’d run for public office. But when I see something I believe is wrong, I cannot just look the other way – I must stand up to it.
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly concerned about our national government, and the divisiveness and dysfunction I see in Congress. The bitter partisanship, extremism and disregard for truth are harming all of us and benefiting only self-serving politicians.
Specifically, I’ve seen Mike Simpson, who used to be an independent thinker, move further and further to the right, putting his own political survival ahead of the needs of our nation and his constituents.
That’s just wrong, and he knows it.
He even voted against the American Rescue Plan, which provided critical funds to fight the pandemic and spur an economic recovery, and against the Infrastructure Bill that both of Idaho’s Senators supported. And he has failed to take the January 6 insurrection against our government seriously, and stand up for reasonable people like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
Now he is even running ads touting how much he likes, and is like, Donald Trump – the man who incited the January 6th insurrection!
I used to admire Simpson and I still agree with him on some things, such as the Boulder White Clouds and his salmon recovery plan, which are fine examples of collaborative stewardship and will breathe new life into our rural communities.
But Mike Simpson is no longer a moderate voice, and his primary opponents aren’t either. We need someone who is going to stand up to the extremism, fear-mongering and conspiracy theories that threaten the very soul of our democracy.
I have another, more personal, reason for running. I lost my younger sister some years ago, in part, at least, because she was unable to afford the health care she needed. She worked full-time, but the costs were still too high. One of my goals in Congress will be to ensure that all Americans can get quality, affordable health care.