January 22, 2014 in Idaho

Idaho senator brings colleague’s challenger on a job-shadow

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Betsy Russell photo

Christian Fioravant, 21, of Bonners Ferry, does a job-shadow at Idaho’s state Capitol on Wednesday of Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, left; Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, is at right.
(Full-size photo)

BOISE – A youngster in a suit who just turned 21 a month ago is doing a job-shadow of Sen. Steven Thayn in the Idaho Senate this week – at the same time he’s running against one of Thayn’s colleagues, Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint.

Christian Fioravant, who moved to Bonners Ferry about a year and a half ago, filed as a Constitution Party candidate for the Senate seat on Dec. 30.

Thayn, who began shepherding Fioravant around the Capitol on Tuesday, didn’t know Fioravant was a candidate until Keough told him on the Senate floor that morning.

“Hopefully Sen. Keough’s a good sport about this,” said Thayn, R-Emmett. “Constitution Party people never win elections. I mean, I don’t think she’s too threatened.”

Keough, a 9th-term senator who is the vice-chair of the Legislature’s powerful joint budget committee, said, “I always think it’s great that Idaho citizens want to get involved in the political process.” She added, “I certainly was at the same point that he was when I first started.”

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, was surprised. “It’s not something I would have done, I guess I can say that,” he said. “I didn’t know he was here.”

He noted that Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, brought on an intern for the session who is the daughter of Keough’s other challenger, Danielle Ahrens, who ran unsuccessfully against Keough in the 2010 GOP primary and has suggested she may run again. “He did talk to her about it – she didn’t have any problem with that,” Hill said.

Fioravant said he asked Thayn about a possible job shadow after he interviewed him for Fioravant’s online radio program, and Thayn agreed.

The young man, a 2011 graduate of Independence High School in Roseville, Calif., said, “I’ve always been interested in politics. … I just wanted to learn more about the process.” Fioravant said he owns a consulting firm, Bulletproof Cash Marketing, that he started at age 15, along with a website business, Avanti Web Services.

Thayn said, “What I told Sen. Keough was I talk to anybody. If you want to shadow me, that’s fine. … I’m trying to be just an issues guy.” He added, “It’s interesting that young people are getting interested.”

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