Campaign kickoff

TJ Thomson raises the roof at Boise's Linen Building


TJ Thomson officially announced his intent to run for Boise City Council Wednesday night at the Linen Building, again. Thomson first announced in January, at the same venue, during an Obama inauguration party and has since collected a long list of endorsements including Mayor Dave Bieter, the Boise firefighters union and former Gov. Cecil D. Andrus. Republican councilman Vern Bisterfeldt has also backed Thomson. Thomson had no shortage of friends present at the campaign kickoff, billed as the best campaign party of the year.

The Linen Building bumped to the beats of Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones and Dave Matthews as Thomson addressed his campaign followers. The bar had no shortage of booze and was happy to serve the party's many thirsty attendees. Brie cheese, fruit, vegetable platters and candies were on hand to curb the hunger of all who showed up for the event.

Karen Hammond of Boise worked with Thomson during his stint with the Obama For Idaho campaign. She plans to volunteer for the campaign and says that she is "thrilled to see the younger generation getting involved in politics."

Marshall Brezonick was invited to the kickoff party on Facebook and decided to come by and see what Thomson's campaign had to offer. Thomson's Facebook event page had 155 confirmed attendees along with 232 "maybe attending". At the end of the night more than 150 people had showed up. An Idaho native born in Idaho Falls and an auditor at Idaho Power, Thomson says he has the experience in fiscal policy to squeeze every penny of taxpayer dollars. Thomson also compared the fresh design and concept of the linen building to his own campaign, saying he will bring fresh ideas to the Boise City Council.

Mayor Dave Bieter, currently the youngest member of the council at age 49, is inspired by Thomson's youth and energy. He encouraged the audience to support Thomson on Facebook and Twitter. He also led the crowd in a chant of "Gora TJ Thomson", a Basque word meaning "up with." Bieter led the same chant for Obama at Boise's Democratic convention last year.

Thomson's plans to implement a light rail system in Boise and create more bike trails to sustain the community's quality of life are standard planks for young Boise politicians these days.

But the old folks are lining up behind him: Former Governor Cecil Andrus was on the guest list but had to leave town unexpectedly for a meeting. Andrus does have high expectations for the City Council where, he said in a statement, "the rubber meets the road," and visible changes to the city occur.