Democratic state Rep. Paulette Jordan is entering the crowded race for Idaho’s governor.
Jordan is finishing up her second term in the Idaho House. Her panhandle district covers Latah and Benewah counties, which border Washington. They include the University of Idaho and parts of the Coeur d’Alene Reservation.
Jordan herself is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and previously served on the tribal council before winning her seat in 2014.
During her campaign kick-off event at a Moscow restaurant, she says her campaign will be about “justice for all.”
“Because right now there’s a lot of holes in the process, there’s discrimination that takes place, there are imbalances in every nook and cranny that you look,” Jordan says.
The speech was light on specifics, but Jordan says she wants to improve the world around her.
"Now in my term, I don't want to be just a state. I want to make Idaho the state that it's been destined to become, which is the greatest state in the history of the United States."
She and any other Democrat have a tough fight ahead of them — Republicans have held Idaho's top executive office since the late Cecil Andrus stepped down in 1995.
Jordan will face Boise businessman A.J. Balukoff in the Democratic Party primary next May.
“Voters deserve a robust primary where issues affecting all hard-working Idahoans get discussed and debated," Balukoff said in a statement.
Balukoff unsuccessfully ran against outgoing Governor Butch Otter in 2014, losing by nearly 15 points.
Several high profile candidates will compete in the Republican Party primary, including Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Congressman Raul Labrador and developer Tommy Ahlquist.
Glenn Mosley of Idaho Public Radio contributed to this report.
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