Lawmaker joins Balukoff team, temporarily

State Rep. Mat Erpelding will join A.J. Balukoff’s gubernatorial team — temporarily — as campaign spokesman.

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Mat Erpelding

Erpelding, D-Boise, will be the campaign’s communications director through the end of July, while Mike Lanza is on leave for the month.

Erpelding is finishing his first term in the Legislature, and is running for a second term. Lanza was a leader of the campaign to overturn Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Lanza joined the Balukoff campaign in March; he is taking a monthlong vacation he had planned before taking the campaign job, Erpelding said Thursday.

Here’s the Balukoff news release:

Democratic candidate for governor A.J. Balukoff has hired Rep. Mat Erpelding, a former legislative staffer, college educator, author and high altitude climbing guide, to be his campaign’s interim communication director.

“As a former college instructor, Mat has seen firsthand the negative implications of Idaho’s underfunded public education system,” Balukoff said. “Idaho colleges and universities have struggled under Gov. Otter, and Idahoans want our state to invest in education. And, as someone who worked to oppose the flawed Luna Laws, Mat understands that concern. I welcome his expertise.”

“I care deeply for Idaho,” Erpelding said. “A.J.’s success as a business leader and as an educational leader has been phenomenal, and he is needed in our Capitol. A.J. will bring balance and prosperity back to Idaho, and I am proud to work toward his election.”

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Erpelding will serve as the primary media contact until the end of July while the campaign’s communication director Mike Lanza is on leave.