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Pocatello native announces bid for lieutenant governor

Politics

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BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) — Terri Pickens Manweiler, a Boise attorney who was born and raised in Pocatello, announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor on Wednesday morning on a platform of support for public education and an end to what she called theater in Idaho politics.

Pickens Manweiler made the announcement at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise and was introduced by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise.

Pickens Manweiler said she is not a politician, but a small business owner, a wife and a mother. She is the founding partner of Pickens Law, P.A. in Boise, where she practices real estate, construction and general commercial law. She has been a public defender for Nez Perce County and is licensed to practice before the United States District Court for Idaho and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

She said she decided to run because Idaho needs a voice of hope and a voice of reason.

“For many years, I believed that the elected leaders of Idaho shared my values, and that they genuinely cared about my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my family,” Pickens Manweiler said. “Over the past few years, that belief has been absolutely shattered.”

Her campaign will focus on advocating for funding of public education in Idaho, including funding for pre-K programs, full-time kindergarten and higher education. If elected as lieutenant governor, she would also focus on preserving public lands as a member of the Idaho Land Board. Pickens Manweiler also placed a strong emphasis on civil rights as part of her platform, including freedom of speech and freedom from discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

“I will commit to work with whoever is the governor, not against him.”

Pickens Manweiler was asked why she chose to run for lieutenant governor when the only official duties assigned to the position are to preside over the Senate of the Idaho Legislature and to act as governor when he or she is out of state.

“We’ve seen over the last year what the lieutenant governor can do,” she said. “I think the first thing I will do as lieutenant governor is talk to the governor. I will commit to work with whoever is the governor, not against him.”

She appeared to be referring to the relationship between Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and Gov. Brad Little, who have had conflicts over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. McGeachin has announced she is running for governor in 2022, and three Republicans — Speaker of the Idaho House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, and former state Rep. Luke Malek, R- Coeur d’Alene — have announced their intention to run for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary.

Terri Pickens Manweiler announces candidacy
Terri Pickens Manweiler announces her candidacy as a Democrat for the office of lieutenant governor on Wednesday at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise | Kelcie Moseley-Morris, Idaho Capital Sun

Pickens Manweiler also addressed the education indoctrination task force assembled by McGeachin that has met three times to talk about critical race theory that they say is infiltrating Idaho’s education system.

“To me it’s political theater, because frankly, this task force is not doing anything other than introducing the boogeyman into public education,” she said. “The first time I heard of anything related to critical race theory, I was a third-year student in law school. They’re not teaching this in school, they’re teaching history in school, and I believe that it is important to continue teaching history in school.”

According to the campaign finance portal on the Idaho Secretary of State website, Pickens Manweiler is the only Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor so far. Candidates can officially file for the 2022 primary in February, and the primary election will likely be held in May, unless the redistricting process causes a delay.

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