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Idaho Republican Candidates Bring Statewide Tour To The Panhandle

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Idaho Republican candidates running for statewide office are riding the bus this week. Their annual tour of the state began Wednesday in Boise. Today [Friday], they started in St. Maries and stopped in several North Idaho towns.

Around 11:30, the motor coach pulled into a parking lot in the Riverbend Commerce Park in Post Falls. Several dozen people were waiting outside of Newby-Ginnings; that’s a non-profit business that provides veterans and military families with essential household items.

One by one, the candidates got off the bus and began mingling with people, such as Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon.

“I’m here to support members of my own party, from lieutenant governor on down. And I couldn’t ask for a better day. We need to figure out a way to bottle this and bring it out in February,” Brannon said.

Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR
Brad Little (second from left) shakes hands in Post Falls as part of the Republicans' bus tour of Idaho.

Brad Little, the gubernatorial candidate, worked the crowd, then went inside the business for a brief tour. When he emerged and started back to the bus, he stopped for an impromptu talk. “Thank you all for coming out.”

One by one, he introduced his fellow candidates to the crowd. Then he mentioned new state projects of interest to Kootenai County: a mental health facility under construction near the state crisis center at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene.
“We're going to have a new veterans’ home here," he said. "I just talked to Marv Hagedorn, the new director of veterans’ services. He told me that the location right here is in the queue. We believe we’ll make the announcement in either December or January, so we’re very happy that that happened, for the people that made it happen, for the donors. Thank you very much.”

With their alloted half hour nearly over, the candidates boarded the bus and headed toward their next stop near Sandpoint.

Afterward, outgoing state Representative Eric Redman, dressing in a red ‘Make America Great Again’ cap and a rainbow colored shirt, talked about his decision to end his legislative career after two terms.

“I grew up in Palouse, down by Potlatch, and been here since 1970, after serving in the Air Force. I knew North Idaho," Redman said. "But I didn’t know southeast, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls. Now I do and it’s a great state and there’s a lot of industry. I mean, it’s pretty cool. We’re blessed to live in this state.”

The 2018 Idaho Republican Bus Tour is scheduled to stop in Moscow Saturday morning and resume again next week for an extensive tour of the southern part of the state.