Idahoans voted for a brighter future

By Rep. Lauren Necochea, D-Boise
Reader Contributor

As Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock says, “A vote is a prayer about the kind of world we want to live in.” Indeed, every election allows citizens to act on their hope for our shared future. 

With far-right extremists getting louder, more numerous, and more brazen in Idaho and Congress, many are deeply worried about the future. Today’s Republican Party seeks to divide us based on our differences, put profits over people, erode our public institutions and take away our freedoms. 

Nevertheless, The Nov. 7 election filled me with hope, as voters shifted toward leaders who will build communities where we take care of each other. 

Rep. Lauren Necochea, D-Boise.

In Virginia, Democrats exceeded expectations, retaining control of the Senate and flipping the House. This victory thwarted Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plans to pass an abortion ban. In Ohio, voters amended the state constitution to guarantee the right to make personal decisions about reproductive health care, including abortion. Even in deep-red Kentucky, voters re-elected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. 

Here in Idaho, Democratic values prevailed in encouraging ways. 

In Boise, Mayor Lauren McLean, who focused on home affordability, secured another term. Hayden Paulsen, a 29-year-old newly elected to Pocatello City Council, returned to his hometown, believing that Idahoans shouldn’t have to leave their community to find economic opportunity. Education champions triumphed in school board elections in Caldwell, McCall-Donnelly, Blaine County, Teton County and Moscow over far-right ideologues who seek to ban books, police curriculum and privatize our public schools. 

In the 45 races where local Democrats endorsed nonpartisan candidates based on shared values — not necessarily party affiliation — 73% won.

Meanwhile, voters are starting to realize that Republican endorsements often signal the most extreme, far-right candidate in a race. Coeur d’Alene City Council incumbents beat back far-right challengers endorsed by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. A Twin Falls City Council incumbent beat out a Twin Falls Republican Party official. 

We can take a moment to celebrate, then turn to the work ahead. In 2024, all 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature will be up for election. Idaho Democrats are committed to having a Democrat on the ballot in every legislative district and will continue to work hard to deliver leaders who better represent the people of Idaho. You can join us. 

Together, we can deliver on the issues that matter most to Idahoans — safeguarding our freedoms, ensuring quality education and fostering opportunity in every corner of our state. It won’t happen magically, but through the grit of candidates and volunteers who meet voters at their doors to show that Idahoans deserve better and that doing better is possible. 

Let’s carry this momentum forward and continue building a brighter future for Idaho.

Rep. Lauren Necochea is the House assistant Democratic leader, representing District 19 in Boise on the Commerce and Human Resources; Environment, Energy and Technology; Revenue and Taxation; and Ways and Means committees.

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