Paulette Jordan

Running for Idaho governor

Idaho gubernatorial race 2018 candidates: Paulette Jordan (D) | Brad Little (R)

Idaho election day is November 6, 2018. Unsure how or where to vote in the Idaho elections? Scroll to the bottom of this page for Idaho voter information.


Quick biography on Paulette Jordan

Paulette Jordan was born in Northern Idaho and is a member of the Couer d’Alene tribe, where she served as a tribal council member. She was later elected to represent 56 tribes in the Northwest before finding a place at the National Board where she served as finance chair for the National Indian Gaming Association.

Paulette Jordan is running for governor of Idaho. Source WikiMedia CommonsIn 2014, she was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives to represent her district, successfully beating an incumbent Republican. She won reelection in 2016, but now Jordan is looking to make a progressive impact on a much larger scale.  

An avid sportswoman in rural Idaho, Jordan hails from a farming and ranching family, where she grew up bareback riding and learned to treasure the gorgeous lands Idaho has to offer. Moreover, she says her rural upbringing instilled in her a strong belief to take care of the land and protect it against damage or decay.

For Paulette Jordan, deciding now is the time to run for governor is about more than timing – it’s about getting the right experience. She was the youngest member of the Couer d-Alene tribe council and she says she growing up around leaders encouraged her to use her voice, too. While her supporters have wanted her to run for a long time, she’s running for governor now is because she feels experienced and qualified enough to best serve Idaho. In other words, because she comes from a rural perspective, Jordan says she wanted to better understand the issues facing southern Idahoan in urban regions before she could rightfully represent all of Idaho.

Paulette Jordan endorsements

Idaho Statesman newspaper (split decision)

Planned Parenthood Votes

Democracy for America

People for the American Way

Our Revolution


Add The Words

Cher (yeah, really)

Paulette Jordan platform on state & local issues in Idaho

Education & charter schools

Jordan says Idaho public schools are severely underfunded and teachers deserve a raise in pay. She supports shifting more public funds toward making college and other forms of postsecondary education more affordable for Idaho residents. Also, Jordan is a proponent of charter schools, saying they are a necessity for kids who aren’t well suited to their local schools. She wants to ensure that charter schools are more accessible in addition to increased funding to public schools.

In January 2017, Jordan proposed a bill with Rep. Sally Toone that would grant student loan forgiveness to rural teachers. Despite being co-sponsored by every Democrat in the House and Senate, the bill failed to become law.


Paulette Jordan says her commitment to conservation and environmental protection stems from her family’s deep connection to the land and their generations-old belief in protecting it. For example, she favors clean energy renewables, such as solar and wind power, as well as phasing out coal, natural gas and oil. She says the toxic chemicals that come from fracking harm drinkable groundwater and worsen air pollution. When speaking about the dangers of allowing corporations to do whatever they please and harm the land, Jordan warned “There’s going to be a point of no return” if the environmental status quo remains unchanged.

Public lands

Preserving public lands is an issue Jordan is particularly passionate about. While the Trump administration has taken many steps to sell public lands to private corporations, Jordan is quick to push back on fracking public land and national monuments, saying in an interview, “If there are no protections or limitations, then we’re allowing corporations to ravage [our] land for their own benefit.” Jordan says corporations have been permitted to take all they can from the land with little oversight. She makes the case that it’s time for Idahoans to take a stand and protect the natural regions they love.  

Rural issues

Jordan says Idaho’s slowed economy hurts rural towns the most. She supports a range of rural infrastructure projects, including implementing a statewide transit system to connect small towns with urban areas in an effort to revitalize rural Idaho. She also says increased investment into tourism and career training programs will bring money into the state. In addition, Jordan makes the case that these programs will help provide higher paying jobs throughout the state.

RELATED: Jackie Smith – Running for Iowa Senate District 7

Marijuana legalization

Jordan has been an outspoken advocate of legalizing marijuana. During an April debate in Boise, Jordan said she fully supports legalizing medical marijuana and CBD oil, he also would like to see marijuana possession decriminalized.  

Paulette Jordan platform on national issues

Gun control

Jordan is a gun owner and supports banning bump stocks. On the topic of confiscating guns from convicted domestic abusers, Jordan says “While everyone has the right to own a gun, not everyone has the right to pull the trigger.” Furthermore, she advocates for putting “sensible laws” into effect that can help prevent future mass shootings in Idaho schools. 

That being said, Jordan does not support arming teachers in the classroom. Setting the record straight, Jordan spoke on the time she cast an affirmative vote to introduce “stand your ground” legislation with 13 House Republicans. During a debate on May 10, Jordan said she voted to introduce the bill because many of her constituents asked her to take a closer look at the legislation. However, she said it was difficult to do because “I disagree with the legislation completely.”

Reproductive rights

Paulette Jordan supports Planned Parenthood, saying in a February 25 debate, “For many people in Idaho, especially women, without sufficient healthcare coverage, a Planned Parenthood physician is the only medical provider they visit each year.” As conservative lawmakers work to stop taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood, she says its services are essential in the state for women’s health.

While a representative in the Idaho House, Jordan voted against House Bill 516 which requires doctors to offer ultrasounds to women requesting an abortion 24 hours before the procedure. The bill still passed and was signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter in 2016.


While an Idaho House representative, Jordan was the only lawmaker who voted against a 2017 Idaho immigration bill in committee that would have blocked sales tax funds from sanctuary cities. In addition, the bill would require local police departments to uphold federal immigration laws against anyone arrested for a misdemeanor of felony charge. In an interview with The Spokesman-Review, she said  “I fully support sanctuary cities. My ancestors supported immigrants – I see no reason to change.”

Minimum wage

Idaho’s minimum wage currently follows the federal rate at $7.25 per hour. Paulette Jordan supports raising the state’s minimum wage steadily over time and says she will work to raise it as governor.

LGBTQ rights

In 2014, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter took the fight to defend his state’s ban on gay marriage to the Supreme Court, which sided against him and allowed same-sex marriages to continue in the state. In a state that voted against civil rights protections for gays and lesbians on a party-line vote in 2015, Jordan says she fully supports same-sex marriage.

Moreover, Jordan says she would not challenge the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling, saying “Marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or geographic location.” She also says that religious liberty laws should not allow businesses or individuals to discriminate against their fellow Idahoans regarding sexual orientation.

Health care & Medicaid

Jordan says health care is a human right. She says rural clinics should be made far more accessible for people to receive care as many cannot afford their own health insurance. In addition, Paulette Jordan supports Medicaid expansion for those who don’t qualify for coverage or whose income is too high for a subsidy.

Pay gap

Jordan supports introducing legislation that would require business owners to offer equal, livable wages to their employees. In the final debate before the May 15 primary election, Jordan criticized her opponent, A.J. Balukoff, for not supporting legislation to shrink the pay gap. She said, “We know that even a woman of color is paid far less than the average woman who is paid far less than men. So if you’re getting three-quarters of the dollar and the woman of color in the state is getting half a dollar that’s a major problem.”

Religion in government

Jordan believes that any religious freedom laws should not give individuals and business owners the right to discriminate, saying “I believe in the right to religious freedom, but I do not support religion as an excuse for bigotry.” As a state representative, Jordan voted against Idaho Senate Bill 1342 that authorized Bibles in schools as educational references.

Net neutrality

Jordan proposed a net neutrality bill that would prevent ISPs within Idaho from blocking lawful content and services, as well as stopping ISPs from slowing traffic in favor of higher-paying users. House Bill 425 remains in committee.


Idaho election information

Idaho 2016 election results

In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won Idaho by 32 points. Two counties (Latah and Blaine) voted for Hillary Clinton. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state by nearly 32 points.


Idaho absentee voting

Idaho absentee voting is open until late October. To request that an absentee ballot is mailed to your address, you must send the request to the county clerk’s office by October 26th. You can also cast an absentee ballot in person until November 2 at the county clerk’s office.

Idaho Votes is a tool that lets you know if you're registered to vote in the stateIdaho residents have until October 16 to register to vote. If you’re unsure if you’re registered with the county to vote, you can find out your status on Idaho Votes.


Where do I vote in Idaho

If it’s Election Day and you don’t know where to vote today, here’s a list of Idaho polling places based on the county you live in. Idaho Votes offers an address lookup to find your nearest polling place here. If for some reason this tool doesn’t work for your address, find your polling location on the county sites below.


Find your nearest Idaho polling location

Ada County

Canyon County

Kootenai County

Bonneville County

Bannock County

Twin Falls County

Bingham County

Bonner County

Nez Perce County

Latah County

General Idaho election information can be found at Idaho Votes.


What do I need to vote?

In order to vote in the Idaho election for governor, you’ll need to bring a Photo ID or sign an affidavit swearing to your identity.

More ways to support Paulette Jordan

Visit her official campaign site

Donate to Paulette Jordan’s campaign

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Follow her on Twitter @PauletteEJordan

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Shari Rose is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @blurredbylines or like Blurred Bylines on Facebook. Women Running For Office Project posts ≠ endorsements.

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