November 14, 2007 in Idaho

Idaho’s favorite Democrat still has taste for the contest

D.F. Oliveria

Cece Andrus is older now than when he bedeviled the Republican Legislature during his last two terms, 1987-1995. But he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. Idaho’s favorite Democrat launched a telephone conversation with this Huckleberry Tuesday by saying: “They still got you around?” Dunno if Cecil’d heard about the recent layoffs. Or he was editorializing. Either way, I told him that I refuse to open my office mailbox or take calls from any editor above the rank of associate. Then we got down to business. Cece will be on hand when Democrat Walt Minnick announces his candidacy for Congress at 1 o’clock today at the Harding Center on CDA’s 15th Street. In doing so, he’s choosing Minnick over the Democrat he backed for Congress last time, Larry Grant. What’s up with that? I asked. Larry Grant is a great guy, Andrus responded diplomatically. “He had an opportunity two years ago to take this fellow (Congressman Bill Sali) out and was unable to do it. Walt Minnick is prepared personally, financially and organizationally to win the election. Frankly, my concern is who can win in November of ‘08.” Andrus then offered a laundry list of Republican faults, ending with pre-Congress evaluations of Sali by members of his own party that included the term “idiot.” Andrus is no shrinking violet. You can thank him for that stoplight on Lincoln Way that has protected Winton School children from traffic for years now. After a child was hit crossing the busy four-lane roadway, Andrus was asked to intervene as governor. He did – and was told by a Transportation Department engineer that the traffic count didn’t warrant a signal. He informed the engineer that he’d either install a signal or look for work elsewhere. Stories like that explain why Democrat Andrus remains a favorite in bright-red Idaho.

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