Political campaigns get a lot more focused after Labor Day. With approximately two months before voters go to the polls, candidates for national and state office are dialing up their efforts, many of them engaging in old-fashioned retail politics.
“Three hours a day, triple-digit temperatures, rain or shine, every day but Sunday. Last time, I met 8,000 people in person. We’ll do more this year,” said Janie Ward-Engelking, Democratic candidate for Idaho House Seat 18A.
"Last time" was 2010, when Ward-Engelking lost by a scant seven votes to Republican Rep. Julie Ellsworth.
“A bunch of my son’s friends came by and said, ‘Oh, we didn’t vote,’” she recalled, putting her hands up to her ears. “Don’t tell me that. They said, ‘We didn’t think it would matter,’ but I told them that it was a great civics lesson. And they said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll vote for you next time.’ I said, ‘I didn’t think there would be a next time.’”
But there is a next time. And District 18 has changed dramatically, quadrupling in size by stretching east and south.
In Wednesday's BW, we examine the evolution of District 18 after redistricting, and how the demographics include some of Boise's most-engaged electorate and thousands of others who couldn't vote, even if they wanted to.