Sandpoint’s Mayor Rognstad officially announces run for Idaho governor

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad made his run for Idaho governor official on Nov. 8 with an announcement in his hometown of Lewiston.

Though the Reader reported in October that Rognstad was “eyeing” a possible campaign, Monday’s announcement launched it. In an address outside the Lewis Clark Hotel, Rognstad shared that the first elected office he won was Lewiston High School student body president. In time since, he’s served on Sandpoint’s planning and zoning commission and city council, ultimately being elected mayor in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, making him just the second Sandpoint mayor to see two terms. Now, he is vying for Idaho’s top job, running as a Democrat.

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad.

“I’m here because of you,” Rognstad said to the Lewiston crowd during his gubernatorial announcement, “because many of you asked me to do what I’m here to do today.”

Rognstad, a fourth-generation Idahoan who graduated from the University of Idaho, is running on a four-tiered platform: caring for communities with a science-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic; strengthening Idaho’s families through education funding; protecting public lands; and defending citizens’ freedoms by upholding democracy.

Rognstad criticized the “extreme” nature of Idaho’s red politics in recent years.

“I grew up in a conservative family, but in a time when political views didn’t separate us from our friends and our neighbors,” Rognstad said. “We had a shared set of values that held strong in times of challenge.”

That “shared set of values” is what Rognstad wants to bring back to the forefront of Idaho politics.

“We can put a check on extremism. We can bring civility, democracy and decency back to the Capitol, back to our neighborhoods and back to our public spaces,” Rognstad said. “Together, we can push through the fear that separates us. We can push through the misinformation that divides us. Now is the time to come together.”

Watch the entire announcement on Rognstad’s Facebook page at View his campaign website at

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