Paulette Jordan Wins Democratic Gubernatorial Nomination in Idaho; Poised to Become First American Indian Ever to be Governor

Paulette Jordan being interviewed by Idaho televison station. PHoto courtesy of Nicole Willis

#NativeVote18 – Updated

Published May 16, 2018

BOISE, IDAHO — Paulette Jordan (Coeur d’Alene) won the Idaho Democratic party’s gubernatorial nomination on in Tuesday’s primary election. She now goes on to run against the Republican party’s nominee (that race is too close to call at press time) in November’s general election. While the final numbers are not in, Idaho televison stations began calling the election in Jordan’s favor about 11 p.m. She was leading with 58 percent of the vote against two challengers.

She will face the current Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, 64, a longtime Idaho politician, rancher and business owner in the general election in November.

If she wins in November, Jordan will become the first American Indian to ever be a governor of any state in history.

Jordan, who previously was elected to the Idaho state legislature, resigned her seat earlier this year to devote her time to her gubernatorial race.

“The people have spoken…just maybe, we were right,” Jordan told a crowd of supporters late Tuesday. “I have to tell you: This is our day. We are making history. We are all one. We will have a better Idaho.”

Jordan won the primary by a resounding margin against her opponent, A.J. Balukoff, a businessman. A third candidate garnered one percent of the vote.

“I am so honored by the widespread support received from my relatives throughout Indian Country. This is a huge step for us and I am excited to be on this journey with all of you. This is a great indicator of where we as indigenous progressive leaders in rural states can help lead our communities,” said Jordan in a statement to Native News Online early Wednesday morning.

From Paulette Jordan for Govenor website:

Jordan grew up on a farm in northern Idaho, where she developed a strong connection to our state’s land and the people who share it. A proud member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, she was raised to fight for the needs of her community and to protect our priceless natural resources.

As a student at the University of Washington, Paulette discovered her love of local politics and grassroots activism, working with the Seattle City Council and the university’s administration on behalf of her fellow students. After graduation, she moved back home to Idaho and became the youngest person elected to the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council. Paulette went on to work as a business development strategist and to serve as Finance Chair on the Executive Board of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Randy’L Teton contributed to this story from Fort Hall, Idaho.

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