Paulette Jordan is giving up her seat in the Legislature to run full-time for governor.
“I cannot fairly serve my constituents and run for governor, therefore I am stepping down from my legislative seat,” Jordan, a Plummer Democrat, said in a news release early Wednesday morning. “This is necessary to win the Democratic primary and to move toward victory in November. I’m all in for Idaho.”
Jordan had been serving her second term in the Legislature — and was the only Democratic legislator from the Pacific time zone. But Jordan has been splitting her time between campaigning and her legislative responsibilities, and recently missed a week of the legislative session to campaign.
Jordan entered the gubernatorial race in December. She will face longtime Boise school trustee A.J. Balukoff in the May 15 Democratic primary.
In other news from the governor’s race:
Rusche endorses Balukoff. Former House Minority Leader John Rusche has endorsed Balukoff, making his announcement during a Democratic Party meeting in Lewiston Monday.
“I know this is a man of great integrity, incredible intelligence and immense ability that’s willing to work really, really hard,” Rusche said. “I’m coming out and I’m saying A.J. Balukoff will make a great governor for the state of Idaho and he has my total support.”
Rusche served a dozen years in the Legislature, including eight years as minority leader. Lewiston Republican Mike Kingsley ousted Rusche in the November 2016 election.
Rusche is now a candidate for a spot on the Idaho Water Resource Board. But his nomination is on hold after some Republican senators said they wanted to question Rusche for what they described as politically charged Facebook posts.
Mayors endorse Ahlquist. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist touted endorsements from 14 mayors Monday.
The list includes Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd and Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas. Both had contributed to the Boise developer and physician’s campaign during the most recent fundraising cycle.