Election Notes: Jan. 10-14, 2022

1.12.22: Democratic Party chair to step down, citing health issues

State Democratic Party head Fred Cornforth will step down this week.

“I am facing a medical condition that will preempt me from functioning as chair of the Idaho Democratic Party,” Cornforth said in a statement Wednesday.

His resignation, effective Saturday, leaves Democrats looking for a successor as the 2022 election year begins.

Fred Cornforth

Cornforth’s full statement follows:

“Today, I have some difficult news to share with you. I am facing a medical condition that will preempt me from functioning as chair of the Idaho Democratic Party. Currently, I am working with Party staff and leadership to transition out of my role as Chair effective January 15th.

“I am full of gratitude for all we’ve done together and I’m frustrated that the fire burning inside of me to serve you and our fellow Idahoans, doesn’t have a clear direction right now. I do know this: the momentum that many of us have observed or have been a part of the last few years is strong and growing in every part of Idaho.

“The people in the Idaho Democratic Party today are bringing leadership and a commitment to our values as Idahoans to a state where it is long overdue. Keep being a part of the dramatic changes we are bringing to our communities and our party and our state. It has been a privilege and one of the greatest honors of my life to serve you as the chair of the Idaho Democratic Party. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and notes. You’ve touched me and my family in ways that words fail to show you how much each of you means to me.

“To a better Idaho, for everyone.”

1.10.22: Jeb Bush praises Little’s education agenda

Janice McGeachin has Donald Trump.

Brad Little has Jeb Bush.

On Monday, Little got a long-distance shoutout from Bush, the former Florida governor and unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate. Bush is founder of ExcelInEd, a nonprofit “that supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child.”

Bush singled out two pillars from Little’s 2022 education budget: A $47 million literacy line item that could allow schools to fund all-day kindergarten; and a $50 million grant program to help parents pay education-related expenses.

“Gov. Little is smartly focusing on the things we know work best: a solid foundation in reading and more flexible learning options for students. In states across the nation, the pandemic has exposed existing challenges for struggling readers and highlighted the need to give parents more power in guiding their child’s education. Gov. Little’s investments in students – not systems – will benefit Idaho’s families and communities and the entire state.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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