Rep. Paulette Jordan launched her entrance into the 2018 Idaho gubernatorial election this evening in Moscow.

MOSCOW, Idaho –  On her 38th birthday this evening in what she dubbed as ‘the progressive headquarters’ that is Maialina’s Café here, Idaho state representative Paulette Jordan, Democrat, announced she will run for governor rather than attempt a third term in the state legislature.

“There is so much to do in the state,” said Jordan, addressing supporters, family and friends. “In my term there will be zero tolerance for violence…zero tolerance for sexual harassment or harassment of any kind, and there will be zero tolerance for drug abuse or child abuse. There’s going to be zero tolerance of discrimination of any kind, and that’s what this state is known as right now. The system is so corrupt that we have to fix it. If we don’t do anything, nothing will get done.”

Jordan, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal member and descendant of the Colville Tribe, is currently the only tribal member serving as lawmaker in Idaho. If elected she would be both the first female governor of Idaho as well as the first native female governor in U.S. history, according to her campaign.

“Service is an inherent value in my family, from my ancestors on down to my sons,” said Jordan, who later noted her ancestors Chief Moses and Chief Kamiakin have served as examples in her political career along with family members Emily Peone and Lucy Covington.

“How they carried themselves to me has been a shining example of how I want to be, very independent but very in touch with freedom itself, always fighting for justice, standing up for our lands, standing up for our rights and the ability to live our lives freely,” said Jordan.

Jordan previously served on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council and held the co-chair position of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians gaming board.

In the gubernatorial race, the Democrat will face an uphill battle.

Currently, Republicans hold every statewide and federal elected seat in the state, according to the Associated Press.

The last Democratic governor elected in the state’s history came in 1990 with former Gov. Cecil Andrus who served four non-consecutive terms from 1971-1977 and from 1987-1995.

The most recognizable name in the 2018 race thus far is Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, who is joined by Republican candidates Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Boise developer Tommy Ahlquist. 

Democrat A.J. Balukoff has also announced his candidacy. In 2014, Balukoff received 38.5 percent of the vote, losing to incumbent Gov. Butch Otter, who received 53.5 percent of the vote.

Otter has decided not to run for reelection in 2018.

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