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LeFavour: Stegner wasn’t Senate Republican looking for a party swap

LeFavour: Stegner wasn’t Senate Republican looking for a party swap

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
August 13, 2010
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
August 13, 2010

Blogger and political commentator Adam Graham ruffled some feathers in June when he predicted Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, would jump the aisle and become a Democrat before the next legislative session.  Graham’s assertions, which Stegner said weren’t “based on reality,” were partially founded on a blog posting by Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, in which she suggested that some Senate Republicans might switch parties prior to 2011.  LeFavour told IdahoReporter.com that her posting wasn’t about Stegner and that she doesn’t believe he will make the change.

The post authored by LeFavour came in the closing days of the 2010 legislative session and said that she believed that due to the nasty nature of Republican leadership in the Senate, some Republicans would join Democrats on the other side of the aisle.  Graham took LeFavour’s post and ran with it, suggesting that Stegner would be the one to flip and fill the minority leader position being vacated by retiring-Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise.  Stegner currently serves as the assistant majority leader in the upper body of the Legislature.

When asked about Graham’s prediction, LeFavour denied that Stegner had considered becoming a Democrat.  “Joe would not do that,” said LeFavour.  “I've never, ever had that kind of conversation with him.”  She did say that one Senate Republican had come to her with the idea of making a party swap, but that unidentified person has since backed away from the idea.  “And with further discussions I think the person who said that to me will not consider it either,” she said.  “Think of the retaliation.”

The senator from Boise also clarified her position on the issue, saying that the door is still open to Republicans who are willing to work with Democrats to find solutions to the issues of the day.  “We offer that we'd be kind and respectful to moderates all the time but most won't even consider it -- no matter how mean it gets,” said LeFavour.

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