Paulette Jordan, 38, a Democratic Party member of the Idaho House of Representatives, and member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, has announced her intention to run for governor of the state of Idaho rather than seek a third term as a state representative.
Paulette Jordan is now serving her second term in the Idaho House of Representatives and represents District 5 Seat A. She previously served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council from 2009 to 2012.
Paulette Jordan announced her bid to run for Idaho governor on Thursday.
"Service is an inherent value in my family, from my ancestors on down to my sons, and they will carry that tradition forward in their lives. I'm proud to be part of Idaho's family," Jordan said to family and supporters at the announcement as detailed in a release.
A campaign ad for Paulette Jordan when she was running for State Representative.
"Because of who we are and who we can become, my vision for the 21st century is seeing Idaho emerge as the greatest state in the history of the United States," said Jordan.
"When you are raised by Idaho, it’s a matter of giving back. Taking on the governorship would be the best way for me to impact people’s lives … to serve and give back," she said.
The move by Jordan is a historic one. Few Native candidates have announced such a bid aside from Peggy Flanagan who announced a bid for Lt. Governor in Minnesota this year, Byron Mallott who is currently serving as Lt. Governor in Alaska, and Larry Echo Hawk who previously ran for Governor in Idaho.
Rep. Jordan is a member of the State Affairs Committee; the Idaho House Resources and Conservation Committee; the Energy, Environment & Technology Committee and serves as an appointed Idaho Representative to the Energy and Environment Committee of the Council of State Governments for the Western Region.
On December 7th, fellow democratic governor contender A.J. Balukoff, issued a statement welcoming her to the race as well as giving her a birthday wish.
"Voters deserve a robust primary where issues affecting all hard-working Idahoans get discussed and debated. Idaho needs a positive vision to jump-start prosperity in our state after years of falling behind in education, living in a low-wage economy and losing the ability to compete with the rest of the region. I look forward to hearing Representative Jordan’s ideas, and I wish her a Happy Birthday."
According to the press announcement, Jordan learned an early work ethic growing up on her family’s farm. This work ethic motivated her through college at the University of Washington, and specialized certificates at the University of Idaho and at the Harvard John F. Kennedy school of government.
"When I asked myself how I could serve Idaho even better, the governor’s office was my answer," said Jordan.
"Idaho is a state I fall in love with over and over. This is the place that fostered me and this is the place I was raised to serve."
Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter