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Allred opens gubernatorial campaign, names a Republican as his co-chair

Keith Allred formally announced his candidacy for governor as a Democrat this morning, at a rally in the Twin Falls High School gym, the same place he gave his first speech as a sixth-grader and where he spoke often when he was the school’s student body president. Allred had a surprise announcement: Joining former four-term Democratic Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus as honorary co-chairman of his campaign will be former state Sen. Laird Noh, R-Kimberly, the longtime Republican chairman of the Senate Resources Committee. Noh also served on the board of Allred’s nonpartisan citizen advocacy group, The Common Interest. Click below to read Allred’s full news release.


KEITH ALLRED ANNOUNCES RUN FOR GOVERNOR

 

Fifth-Generation Idahoan Calls for End to Excessive Partisanship and Special Interest Influence; Names Laird Noh Honorary Co-Chair

 

TWIN  FALLS - In front of a large and enthusiastic crowd in the Twin Falls High School gymnasium, fifth-generation Idahoan Keith Allred this morning announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor.

 

Allred, who graduated from Twin Falls High School - where he was student body president in 1983 - thanked the community for the “encouragement” that, he said, “helped prepare me to serve the state that I love.”

In his announcement, Allred identified the “Idaho values” of “caring for others, working hard and working together” that would guide his candidacy and administration.  Pledging an independent-minded campaign, Allred sought broad support for his run for governor.

 

“I ask all Idahoans – Democrats, Republicans and independents – to join me in this campaign to realize the full promise of a state government that is of, by, and for all Idahoans,” he said.

The campaign’s initial success in reaching across partisan divides was apparent in the announcement of longtime Republican Senator Laird Noh of Kimberly as Allred’s Honorary Campaign Co-Chair.

 

Noh, who was unable to attend for medical reasons, expressed his support through a letter read by Twin Falls physician Dr. Allan Frost. In his letter, Noh praised Allred’s leadership.  “It is not often that we find someone of such uncommon ability, objectivity, and energy,” Noh wrote, urging Idahoans of all parties to support Allred’s candidacy.  “Once you become acquainted with Keith, regardless of partisan affiliation … you … will not want to let this opportunity slip away.”

 

Noh will serve as Honorary Co-Chair of Allred’s campaign alongside Democratic Governor Cecil D. Andrus, who served four terms and was the first Idahoan to serve in a Presidential Cabinet.

 

A fifth-generation Idahoan, Allred grew up fishing on Silver Creek and hunting in the mountains near the family homestead his great-great-grandfather Allred grubbed out of sagebrush over a century ago.

 

During high school, Allred spent summers working on his Grandpa Gerber’s cattle ranch in Roosevelt, Utah, where tough times meant that he was often the lone hand working 1,200 acres and 400 head of cattle.  Allred credited these early experiences with “preparing me for the bigger challenges” ahead.

 

Allred said that a “track record of leadership” would serve him well as governor.  He pointed to a professional history of “bringing people together” as a mediator who has helped resolve public lands, hydroelectric dam, land use and tribal disputes.

 

In 2004, Allred started focusing his energies on issues affecting all Idahoans. That year, he founded The Common Interest, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that has brought together 1,500 Idaho citizens – Republicans, Democrats, and independents – to advocate for “the common sense solutions that rise above partisanship and special interest influence” in the Idaho Legislature.  The Common Interest was central in passing a measure that substantially reduced homeowners’ property taxes, three laws that protect private property rights against the abuse of the government’s power of eminent domain and measures that protect the public’s access to legislative meetings.

 

Allred earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford.  After serving two years in the Germany, Hamburg mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Allred earned his Ph.D. from UCLA.  He taught leadership - with specialties in negotiation, conflict resolution, persuasion and individual and group decision making- at Columbia and later at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard before returning to Idaho to raise his family.

 

Keith and Christine live in Eagle, Idaho, with their three children – Anna, 7, Dan, 5, and Cate, 2.

 

Today’s announcement will be followed by rallies from 5:30 to 7:00 tonight at the Basque Center in Boise, and from noon to 1:00 p.m Pacific Time on Friday at the Iron Horse restaurant in Coeur d’Alene.

 

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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