Combatting cannibalism and jailing librarians: Idaho Democrats see opportunity in extreme GOP agenda

Combatting cannibalism and jailing librarians: Idaho Democrats see opportunity in extreme GOP agenda

Politico reports:

Democrat Loree Peery knows she’s a long-shot candidate for the Idaho Legislature.

But when her state House representative introduced a bill in February expanding an anti-cannibalism law — action prompted by a prank video — Peery decided she had to try to oust the far-right incumbent, Heather Scott.

“You can’t win if you don’t run,” Peery said, adding that Scott’s focus on irrelevant issues like cannibalism shows she isn’t a serious lawmaker. “It forces the Republicans to work, it forces [Scott] to get out there and talk to people so they can see what she’s about. It forces Republicans to spend more resources on the races.”

Peery, a retired nurse, is one of dozens of Idaho Democrats seeking an office in Boise for the first time. Under new leadership, the Idaho Democratic Party has deployed a grassroots recruitment strategy to put a record number of candidates on the ballot. In fact, there’s a Democrat running in every district for the first time in at least 30 years.

Democrats feel emboldened by the GOP supermajority’s obsession with culture war issues like enacting a strict abortion ban, attacking LGBTQ+ rights and proposing jailing librarians over violating book bans. They also see bitter infighting between the conservative and moderate flanks of the GOP as an opportunity to present voters with a different vision for the future of the state. Idaho was thrust into the national culture war debate again this week when the Supreme Court allowed state officials to temporarily enforce a ban on gender-affirming care, reinvigorating opposition to the law that was passed last year.

It’s also not just Idaho. More Democrats than usual are running in states with GOP-dominated legislatures like Tennessee, Iowa and North Carolina. Democrats have made gains in recent years in state legislative races — flipping chambers in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan — after more than a decade of nationwide GOP dominance. But Republicans still control 55 percent of state legislative seats, compared to 44 percent for Democrats. [Continue reading…]

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