Paulette Jordan, Coeur d’Alene, is running again — this time, for the U.S. Senate.
In 2018, she challenged Republican Brad Little for the Idaho Governor’s office. She didn’t win, but she gained national recognition as a politician to watch, particularly in a place like Idaho. Jordan got her first taste of politics by serving as the youngest member on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal council, but she’s also an experienced businesswoman who sees economic opportunity as key to raising up Idaho’s rural population.
Jordan worked as a business development strategist in the energy sector, and was also finance chair and secretary of the executive board for the National Indian Gaming Association. Her progressive streak is balanced by a quest for solutions that will work in Idaho. She cites the environment as her number-one priority, but sees economic incentives for prosperity through natural and renewable energy as a win for the planet and her constituents.
“A lot of folks have been pushed down in this country and stripped of their dignity. People are struggling to make ends meet,” she said. “We need to bring people up and allow them to access prosperity. Whether you’re independent or Republican or Democrat, we need to be a country that cares about each other again.”
Those values were admirably reflected in her committee assignments in the Idaho state legislature from 2017, when she sat on four committees: Environment, Energy and Technology; Resources and Conservation; State Affairs; and Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment, (according to Ballotpedia).
Jordan came into the ring swinging, taking aim at the junior Senator from Idaho and the man whose job she wants, Jim Risch. Risch drew snickers recently for falling asleep during the Sentate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a slipup Jordan used as a framing metaphor. “The man has been sleeping at the wheel since he got elected ― literally and figuratively,” she told the Huffington Post.
Before she gets her shot at Risch, she’ll have to make it out of a Democratic primary field of four. While she’s a trailblazer and barrier-breaker, above all she is a confident leader. “I’m running because I know I can win,” she said.
Jordan’s last political campaign was a bid for the Idaho Governor’s office, an adventure that saw her pull off a surprise win in the primary, earn the endorsement of the Idaho Statesman. Her loss in the general election to a Republican was not unexpected, given Idaho’s political tendencies (Politico ranks it the third reddest state in the union).