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Tommy Ahlquist: Physician, Developer, Poetry Lover, Gubernatorial Candidate

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Dr. Tommy Ahlquist - GARDNER COMPANY
  • Gardner Company
  • Dr. Tommy Ahlquist
Tommy Ahlquist likes to quote Emily Dickinson, particularly an 1850 poem, titled "Luck is Not Chance," which he says “guides his personal and professional pursuits":

Luck is not chance—
It’s Toil—
Fortune’s expensive smile
Is earned—
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned—


Ahlquist has also been in the business of saving lives. A physician, he still works the occasional ER shift at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center. He also founded a company that provides public access to defibrillation equipment across the nation. Still, most people know Ahlquist as chief operating officer of the Gardner Company, which developed the Eighth and Main tower, City Center Plaza and the currently- underway Pioneer Crossing project at the foot of the Boise Connector.

If all goes according to his plan, Idahoans may know Ahlquist by another name: Governor.

“After months of being asked to consider running, Dr. Ahlquist will make an official announcement,” stated a news release setting Ahlquist’s campaign kickoff for Wednesday, March 1 at the Eighth and Main tower. The doctor-turned developer-turned candidate will also appear in Idaho Falls, Kimberly and Coeur d’Alene—all on the same day—to confirm the worst-kept secret in Idaho.

More than a year before the May 2018 Idaho GOP primary, Ahlquist will join a growing field of candidates for the state’s top job. Lt. Gov. Brad Little has already announced his desire to succeed Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, and previously failed gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher says he wants another crack at running. Meanwhile, the National Review reports U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador is telling anyone who will listen in Washington, D.C. that he wants to be Idaho’s governor.

To some degree, Ahlquist’s political hand was forced when the Idaho secretary of state’s office said it had received a complaint alleging he had been “campaigning” at several Republican-sponsored events. That, in turn, prompted Ahlquist to file formal paperwork with the SOS and to promptly schedule his string of March 1 campaign announcements.


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