Balukoff, Marley to run on ticket

Bert Marley made it official Wednesday. The teacher, former legislator and former Idaho Education Association official will run for lieutenant governor.

Bert.Marley
Bert Marley

Marley, a Democrat, will challenge GOP incumbent Brad Little and will run in tandem with Democratic gubernatorial hopeful A.J. Balukoff.

“We can turn state government around,” Marley said in a statement. “But that turnaround has to start at the top…leadership that will put the needs of hardworking families and the middle class first instead of rewarding good political connections.”

Marley served eight years in the Legislature. In 2006, he ran for state schools superintendent, losing to Democratic nominee Jana Jones, who is again seeking the post in 2014. Marley retired last fall as the IEA’s public policy director.

Here is Marley’s news release, in full:

Bert Marley announces his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Idaho in Pocatello. Marley was accompanied by A.J. Balukoff, Idaho’s democratic candidate for governor. Marley and Balukoff offered statements to the media with a brief question and answer session.

According to Marley and Balukoff, they will be running complimentary campaigns with the focus on reinvesting in Idaho’s schools, revitalizing the economy, and establishing trusted state leadership that operates with transparency and accountability.

“I am so excited and grateful that Bert Marley is stepping forward to run for lieutenant governor. His story is Idaho’s story: pioneer roots, working hard on the family farm and turning to serve his state and neighbors as a great teacher and a respected legislator,” Balukoff said of Marley. “He has always been one of the most vocal and trusted advocates for public education in Idaho.”

Marley, an east Idaho resident from the rural community of McCammon, owns a small farm that has been in his family for three generations. Marley worked as a teacher at Marsh Valley High School for 23 years. Throughout his career as an educator, he saw the need for better leadership for Idaho’s schools, which led him to serve in the legislature as a state representative (1998-2001) and state senator (2001-2006). During that tenure, Marley served on many key committees including education, Agricultural Affairs, and JFAC.

“We can turn state government around,” said Marley. “But that turnaround has to start at the top…leadership that will put the needs of hardworking families and the middle class first instead of rewarding good political connections.”

While Marley’s bid is focused on the lieutenant governor’s office, he plans to advocate for Balukoff and his run for governor.

“I have known A.J. as an educational leader, a business leader and a community leader,” said Marley. “I have the deepest respect and admiration for him and I am proud to call him my friend.”

Marley and Balukoff will be traveling the state to hear directly from Idahoans and to share their message, vision and plan.