September 6, 2018
Writer: Bryanna Willis
November brings the elections for the new governor of Idaho. Paulette Jordan is the Democratic pick and brings a strong sense of putting education, health care and people first in Idaho.
Jordan was born and raised in Northern Idaho. She says she also spent a lot of her time in Fort Hall and Blackfoot, Idaho with her father on his horse ranch. Grandparents on both sides of her family either ranched or farmed which Jordan says has given her a strong sense of self-sufficiency and family values.
“I grew up in a very strong culture, a very faithful people,” Jordan says. “We are really strong on family values and so I’m thankful to come across good communities.”
Jordan has two sons ages 8 and 14. She says her family has been very supportive of her, “my son said ‘Wow! My mom’s going to be governor,’ and it wasn’t even a thought there was no hesitation that I couldn’t do it or that there would be challengers he just said, ‘Oh, well when mommy’s decided to do something she is going to do it.’ So I have the two biggest cheerleaders I could have in my sons.”
In a time when everyone cares so strongly about labels and knowing if someone is a Republican, a Democrat, an Idahoan, Jordan wants people to know that first, she is a mother. Being governor for her is a chance to make her children’s future brighter.
“That’s what drives me every day to do better for Idaho is I’m fighting for my kids - and essentially now I’m a mother for all Idaho children - and so I’m fighting for all Idaho kids.”
Jordan grew up hunting and fishing. She says she wants to make sure that way of life is maintained.
“I’m a gun owner, my kids are gun owners and I definitely support the second amendment and ensure that we have those rights and the autonomy to continue to hunt, and fish and recreate, Idaho should be protected which is why I will never sell public lands,” she says.
She also believes that Idahoans should be mindful of the land and protecting it.
“We should ensure to keeping our clear air and water protected and we want to make sure we take care of our soil quality and not polluting what right now is still able to be protected for future generations.”
As far as education goes for Jordan she makes it clear it is one of her top priorities.
“I’m really big on ensuring that our people are able to not only think independently and more critically but promote growth of our communities and improve our society in such a way that we are all able to be contributive to each other and build upon our successes,” she says.
For her, investing in education will help fill the 7,000 unfilled tech jobs that remained unfilled last year. She says building programs at local levels and incentivizing dual credits in high school and investing in STEM and the growing tech industry will ensure that Idahoans are able to compete in the global market.
Jordan shares that she intends to vote yes on Proposition 2, Idaho’s ballot initiative that would expand Medicaid, and going forward intends to push for a universal health care that will be affordable and accessible for those in rural areas. Jordan says expanding Medicaid will save $10 million and $635 million in the next 10 years which she says would save Idaho rural clinics.
Going along with health care Jordan wants to put more into building up the new medical school that has opened and providing more incentives for doctors to stay in Idaho.
“We are 50th in the nation when it comes to doctors and primary providers so we have to make our state more attractive and a lot of times that is by building your own base,” Jordan says.
To her, that means providing scholarships for Idahoans to stay in Idaho for medical school and paying doctors more in Idaho.
Jordan is also a Native American and there has never been an indigenous person elected for governor in the United States. She says she likes to think that her grandparents are proud of her and it is now time to reflect the true roots of this land.
She emphasizes that her top three goals if she was elected to be governor, would be to promote education, build health care and protect public lands. She knows it will take a strong plan and in the end, it will put the people first.
“There is going to be a place for everyone at the table,” Jordan says. “When we all have a seat at the table working together as one we will truly see a better Idaho.”
The one thing she would say to a voter?
“Believe and have faith,” she says, “because if you believe a woman can win in our state we will win.”