Friday at 5 pm the candidate filing closes. Last chance. Outside Boise many races have no challengers still.
Many of the candidates do file on the last day. It is the big surprise day. I know of two more great candidates about to file in District 19. Other places I don't know about so I worry. I figure it is better when a seat is vacant to have too many people jump in and to sort it out later rather than to have no Democrats run because everyone is waiting politely, afraid someone better wants the seat.
We need willing people, problem solvers and passionate people. We need those brave enough to stand in front of the train with us, to stand up with school kids, the lowest paid state workers, teachers, counselors, people with disabilities, the state's Hispanic communities, the elderly, those literally dying for substance abuse treatment, those who have lost jobs, run out of unemployment, those who need a state legislature that does more than pretend to balance a budget to look good in an election year.
Money will literally run out in several state budgets right after the elections. Some will run into the red sooner. We know that now yet here this week we push those budgets to the floor and into law. Some seem to feel that the bigger the train wreck we create this year, the easier it will be for them to raise taxes next year.
We are talking about people's lives here. If you all plan to raise taxes, be honest and do it this year before schools lose their best teachers, before kids sit in crowded classrooms slowly falling behind, and before people with chronic illnesses run out of their medications and end up in the hospital. I wish we would all just be honest, not hurt people to justify what we know must do to fix the hole we blew in the state budget with all the corporate and special interest taxes we have cut this past decade.
So tomorrow is closing day and I know my speech here is not uplifting, it is damn depressing, but if it makes you mad and makes you want to do something about it then look at the filings and if no one is running, put your name in. The Idaho Secretary of state has the forms on line. You can get them notarized and faxed back by 5 pm. Burley to Eagle, Twin Falls to Coeur d'Alene, we need you in here.
I stay in here and serve because I care. I need to say too what an honor it is. It is hard but it is an honor to serve doing what I think is right, standing up for those in the state with so little voice in here. This place can only get better if more people run. We have to keep the debate going, it makes the policy better when races are challenged, even if you don't win the first time.
Someone winning one new seat in the house can change everything, get Democrats more seats on committees, give us a larger voice, more energy and momentum. To me, the party is the people who do these basic critical things like run and volunteer and get the work done. We make the party what we want it to be. If you think something can be better, it can. That's your job and mine. I choose to make this party a party that cares, cares deeply and with that I try with all my might to make a difference.