BOISE – A young man in a suit and tie who just turned 21 a month ago is job-shadowing 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 of Sandpoint.
Christian Fioravant, who moved to Bonners Ferry about a year and a half ago, filed as a Constitution Party candidate for Keough’s 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, a Republican representing Emmett. “Constitution Party people never win elections. I mean, I don’t think she’s too threatened.”
Keough, a ninthth-term Republican 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 at the job-shadow. “It’s not something I would have done, I guess I can say that,” he said.
He noted that Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, brought on an intern for the session who is the daughter of Danielle Ahrens, a challenger to Keough in the 2010 GOP primary. Ahrens has suggested she may run again. Hill, however, said Keough was consulted and “she didn’t have any problem with that.”
Fioravant, 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.”