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stephen heidt for governor
I’m not a career politician, but I know enough about right and wrong to make a difference in our great state.
EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP
As a 4th generation Idahoan who grew up in a small agricultural community a few miles south of Preston, Idaho. I had a modest upbringing and started working at the dairy down the street from my house at age 10. I was at work by 4:00 a.m. milking cows and my summers were spent bucking hay and delivering the early morning newspaper. I was active in sports, became an Eagle Scout, and served my LDS mission in Brazil after graduating high school.
After spending more than a decade working inside of Idaho’s prisons, it was clear that our politicians could do better for you and the rest of Idaho. My perspective for seeing what is possible came from my passion for education.
My faith taught me to care about my neighbors, to educate, and serve those in need. Politicians should be leaders and leaders should be teachers. I am a teacher, and effective politicians, like teachers, can be “agents of change” who teach new ways of looking at the world. Think about the greatest teacher you ever had. And now consider the positive effect, that teacher had upon your life. When elected, I will be that politician who you will look back and realize that I made a difference for you, your family, your neighbors and the state that we love.
AGENTS OF CHANGE
Faith and values are not words, they are actions. We should treat each other the way my family valued our neighbors lives of our families and communities. When I began teaching in Idaho’s prisons I found my faith tested.
My faith taught me to care about those around me and serve those in need; help them, educate them, and lead them. Being a leader and a teacher inside Idaho’s prisons showed me that change is hard, but it is valuable and embraced by those in need. Being a politician should be more like being a teacher. Great teachers are “agents of change” who permanently improve people’s lives. We must work together to improve the lives of our families and communities. As “Agents of Change”, politicians teach new ways for those who aren’t seeing the opportunity of our community here or the world at large, to discover what they may not be seeing as they look at the world, as we all do.
I want to strengthen our public education system, not just K-12, but beyond. For myself, while earning degrees in Political Science-International Relations and History at BYU-Provo and Eastern Washington University. I enjoyed sports, the arts and sang for two seasons with the Utah Opera Company. While attending BYU, I ran for office in the Republican party. In doing this I realized that being a change agent as a teacher was going to be my political statement at the time. Today, my statement is quite clear, I am here to serve you as an “agent of change, as Idaho’s next Governor.
RED WHITE AND BLUE IDAHO
My mother lived and died Republican. My brother is a proud Republican. One of my sisters is a moderate. And my nephew, Daniel Friend, is a progressive Democrat running for the state legislature in Provo, Utah. The point is that we all work to accept one another’s different point of views. My family, like Idaho, has many different political beliefs and we have to fight to be heard, but we don’t fight about what we hear. I realized that as an educator, a seeker of justice and equality, the Democratic party was in alignment with my values.
BEING OF SERVICE, BEING AN AGENT OF CHANGE, BEING DEMOCRATIC
Whether a teacher or politician, it is just me, Stephen Heidt, continuing to be of service to my community, and neighbors throughout the state of Idaho.
I joined the Army National Guard’s 144th Evac Hospital and later the Army Reserve 385th Combat Support Hospital. My military service carried the legacy of my family forward, helped me to pay for college, and reinforced my commitment to serve. As I watch today’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, I recall my family immigrating from the unrest in the Ukraine 70 years ago. My father is a second generation American and decorated Korean war veteran. My uncle sacrificed his life fighting global tyranny in World War 2 and is buried in a military cemetery outside Florence, Italy. This campaign demonstrates my family’s continued legacy as agents of change.
Today, we are fighting a war, a war that is a battleground for the red, white, and blue of America. We can’t isolate one another for their political beliefs. As your Governor, I will be sure that civility returns to our State and Statehouse. Listening to our neighbors is key. But listening isn’t enough. It takes compromise. For Idaho to return to the state we all call home, we must compromise, and all be agents for positive democratic principles. We must remember there is a difference between being a Democrat and being Democratic. We’ve forgotten that in Idaho, and I am Democratic first, because America is Democratic first.
A PLACE WE CALL HOME
I met my wife of 32 years, Alexandra, while serving in the Medical Corps. We have 5 children and 2 grandchildren who have all made Idaho their home. Our lives here in Marsing, Idaho revolve around our family and our community. For 20 years I enjoyed cooking a hot breakfast before the kids went off to school. Alexandra took care of dinner. Our children are now grown and in March I retired to run for office and effect change that will improve the lives of working class families like my own.
Voting for me means making a change for the better, for you and your family here in Idaho. Thank you for taking the time to learn about a grateful individual who sees a need to further serve the state he loves. I am willing to sacrifice my comfort to serve the Gem State and make it into a home where we all feel like we belong and have the opportunities and tools to prosper.
I look forward to earning your confidence and vote.
STEPHEN HEIDT ON THE ISSUES
Let’s protect our health care, strengthen our public schools, and reform Idaho’s criminal justice system.
I’m running for Governor to make the government work better for Idaho.
Together we can unite our neighbors.
That’s what I’ve always done as a teacher, as a parent, as a leader, and as an Idahoan.
Protect Main Street and Rural Idaho
From Sandpoint to Preston and everywhere in between, schools, churches, small businesses, health clinics, banks, and community centers are shutting down. Idaho Main Streets are being left desolate. Instead of seeing good jobs in our communities, we see depression and increased domestic violence, suicide, and drug problems.
As a 4th generation and Rural Idahoan, I know firsthand that for the last 30 years, Republican leadership has ignored critical issues facing the Main Streets of Idaho. We need economic policies for Main Street and Rural Idaho that represent the needs of working people, small businesses, and family farmers, not commercial interests or multi-national corporations.
Expand and Protect Idaho Medicaid Expansion
In 2018, voters enacted the Idaho Medicaid Expansion program with 61% of the vote. To date over 100,000 Idahoans have enrolled in the program. Since passing, Republican leadership has tried to chisel away at Medicaid Expansion with work and income requirements. I will fight tooth and nail to protect and expand Idaho’s Medicaid Expansion so that everyone has a right to affordable healthcare.
Fully Fund Public Education
Public education is the pathway to opportunity in this state, and one of our state’s greatest equalizers. But lack of support and investment has undermined this foundation. I will work to strengthen public education by making it fair and accessible for every student, and ensuring professional training is attainable without being burdened by debt or dropping out of the workforce. We must be committed to competitive compensation for teachers and their right to bargain and organize collectively. If you’re a truck driver, you have a union, it should be the same for teachers to unionize.
Women’s Right to Choose
I believe the government must not intrude on personal reproductive issues. A woman should be able to consult her doctor before making critical medical decisions.
Make no mistake, women face unique challenges. By confronting these issues head-on, we can empower women, strengthen our families and communities, and keep the door of opportunity open to everyone. It doesn’t end with just women’s rights, but everyone’s right to self determination.
We should decriminalize cannabis, and the penalty for its improper use should be level equivalent to that of a traffic violation. By doing this, we will decrease the number of Idaho citizens in custody in county jails and out-of-state prisons, drastically minimizing the cost of detention, probation, and parole supervision, generating new state revenue, and saving millions of taxpayer dollars each year.
In 2016, Republicans shifted property taxes from commercial land owners to Idaho homeowners, and Republicans are refusing to shift them back.
In Idaho, we can reduce residential property taxes for Idaho homeowners WITHOUT reducing funds for local governments and schools because that tax reduction will automatically be shifted back to commercial property. I support a property tax cut for every single Idaho residential homeowner.
Keep Public Lands In Public Hands
Public lands are not only a part of Idahoans’ way of life – they support our outdoor recreation industry, one of the state’s biggest economic drivers. It is critical that we fight back against any and all efforts to privatize or sell off public lands, and oppose those who want to do so. Future generations of Idahoans must be able to enjoy the same opportunities to hunt, fish, and recreate on public lands that we have today.