A.J. Balukoff announces his candidacy for Idaho Governor, visits Idaho Falls


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POCATELLO – During a speech at Alameda Middle School in Pocatello Wednesday morning, A.J. Balukoff announced he is officially running for Idaho’s governor on the Democratic ticket.

During the speech, he outlined the issues his campaign will be focusing on. Those issues include improving Idaho’s schools and investing in students.

“The politicians in charge are not adequately investing in education. (Our) teachers have to do more with less,” he daid during the speech. “I found out that many of the students here are using textbooks that are more than a decade old.”

During his speech, Balukoff emphatically stated Idaho’s public lands are not for sale and that he intends to eliminate the wage gap between women and men in the workplace. He also said one of his top priorities, if elected, is to expand Medicaid.

“It would be much more efficient if we just expand Medicaid and give people the coverage they need so they can have a family doctor and serious diseases like cancer can be detected at an early stage and treated in a way that would save lives and save money,” he said.

Balukoff also made a campaign stop at The Villa Coffee House in Idaho Falls to speak about his platform and goals.

“I think one of the most important things we can do is get together with voters face-to-face,” Balukoff told EastIdahoNews.com

Balukoff said he is excited to be in a race against with multiple democratic candidates.

“It signals a couple things, first I think demonstrates that the Idaho Democratic is getting stronger and more robust and I think that’s a good thing that we can have some balance and conversations in this state,”

So far, Balukoff has two Democratic opponents — Rep. Paulette Jordan of Plummer and activist Troy Minton.

Balukoff faced off against Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter for the gubernatorial seat in 2014. During that race, Balukoff received 38.5 percent of the votes.