The Democratic candidate for Idaho lieutenant governor in this November’s election wants voters to know he’s been a solid backer of his party for decades, and whole-heartedly supports the party’s platform.
Eldon Wallace formally kicked off his campaign with a barbecue in a Boise park Thursday, telling supporters that he became a Democrat around the same time Ronald Reagan became a Republican, and that, if asked, he would sign a loyalty oath backing the platform Idaho Democrats approved at their state convention in June.
Wallace criticized the Republicans’ platform, including the loyalty oath, as well as provisions calling for the abolishment of the Federal Reserve and repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters to choose U.S. senators. He said it’s hard to find anything in the GOP platform that appeals to young, intelligent, college-educated Idahoans.
Besides filling in when the governor is out of the state or unable to carry out the office’s powers, the lieutenant governor also presides over the Idaho Senate. Wallace said that Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who rose to the position in 2009 after serving in the Senate, hasn’t done a bad job in the position, but questioned why Little got into politics.
Wallace and Little know each other from Wallace’s work with former Boise Democratic Sen. Mike Burkett on early childhood education, an effort that proved unsuccessful. Wallace criticized Little’s support in the senate for the Voluntary Contributions Act, a law that requires limits labor unions’ political sway by requiring them to keep a separate fund for political contributions.
Little holds a large lead in campaign fundraising over Wallace. Little had $82,000 in his campaign account as of June 4, while Wallace had just under $300.
After working in Missouri state government for decades, Wallace moved to Boise six years ago. He mentioned several changes he’d like to in Idaho’s state government, including audits to review the functions of each state agency and standardizing state spending legislation, so that each year’s budget plan for education or state prisons has the same bill number.
Wallace was a last-minute addition to the statewide Democratic ticket. He said another candidate for lieutenant governor pulled out during the filing period in March, so he submitted his paperwork on the last day possible. He has great appreciation for the man at the top of the Democratic ticket, gubernatorial candidate Keith Allred.
“He represents an opportunity to take a fresh look at government by going to the people,” Wallace said about Allred. “He’s willing to listen to everybody.”
Wallace finished his remarks at his kickoff barbecue by asking for support during the months of campaigning ahead. “Let’s get organized,” he said. “Let’s finish the hot dogs. And let’s full up my contribution envelopes.”