A Rigby Democrat recently announced her campaign to represent Idaho’s 2ndCongressional District.
Wendy Norman, a 50-year-old first-grade teacher at Jefferson Joint School District 251, announced in a Thursday news release she is seeking to unseat Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who has represented the district since 1999.
Norman considers herself a centrist but filed to run as a Democrat last month because she believes Simpson has moved too far to the right, the release said.
“Simpson used to be an independent thinker,” Norman said in the release. “But in recent years he has put his own political survival ahead of the needs of his constituents and his country. That’s wrong and he knows it.”
Although Norman agrees with Simpson on some issues, such as his plan for salmon recovery in the Snake River and his work on the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Area, Norman is critical of Simpson voting against the American Rescue Plan and the $1 trillion Infrastructure bill, the latter which both Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch voted in supportof, the release said.
According to Norman’s campaign website, she also decided to run because her younger sister died years ago partly due to unaffordable health care, despite her sister working a full-time job. Norman said in the release she was disappointed whenSimpson voted against a bill to cap insulin costs andone of her goals is to provide all Americansaccessto quality and affordable health care.
She said in the release she was also motivated to run because the other candidates in the Republican primary demonstrate further far-right extremism and “hate-filled” campaigns.
“Their rhetoric is full of misinformation, fear-mongering and conspiracy theories,” Norman said in the release. “It’s gotten so bad that I just had to stand up and try to do something about it.”
Norman is the only Democrat who filed to run for Simpson’s seat. She will move on to the state’s general election in November and face the Republican nominee. The five-way race for the Republican nomination in the May 17 primary election includes Simpson, Bryan Smith,Flint Christensen, Daniel Algiers Lucas Levy and Chris Porter.
The Idaho Press reported Simpson’s and Smith’s campaigns are engaging in a “who’s the Trumpiest” contest to prove they’ve been more supportive of former President Donald Trump.Smith, a vice chairman of both the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee, challenged Simpson in the 2014 Republican primary and collected 38% of the vote in his loss to Simpson.
Simpson and Smith both initially opposed Trump’s 2016 Republican nomination but have turned to express support for Trump in recent years, theIdahoPress reported.
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