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Wednesday, July 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Piotrowski, leading Dems race for District 1 congressional seat: ‘Conventional wisdom won’t work this year’

James Piotrowski (Betsy Z. Russell)
James Piotrowski (Betsy Z. Russell)

Only the very earliest results are in now – just 1 percent of the precincts – but they’re pretty clear in the congressional races, including the three-way Democratic primary for a chance to challenge 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador: With 56 of 938 precincts reporting, Boise labor attorney James Piotrowski had 60.8 percent to UI student Staniela Nikolova’s 15.6 percent and Californian Shizandra Fox’s 23.6 percent.

Piotrowski said he met Nikolova a little over a week ago at a candidate forum. “She seems very nice and she’s very sincere,” he said. “She’s a true Democrat. I just don’t think she’s the right candidate – yet. I certainly wish her well, but I don’t think that this is the race for her.”

He added, “Anything’s possible – it’s an election. To me, this is a lot like fly-fishing. I’ll pick a good fly, I’ll make a good cast, but in the end, it’s up to the fish,” which in this case, would be the voters.

“I’ve spent a fair bit of time traveling the whole district,” Piotrowski said. He’s also done some online advertising and sponsored a robo-call, “to remind people to come out and vote today was the main point, but hopefully to vote for me,” he said. He’s also reached out to party activists. “I’m comfortable that we did what we had to do,” he said, without doing too much. “I’ve seen some races that wasted their resources early – we can’t afford to do that.”

If his lead holds and he goes up against Labrador in the fall, Piotrowski said he’ll relish the challenge. “We’ve got a representative in Congress who has drifted far out of touch with Idaho,” he said. “When I talk to people here at home, they’re worried about jobs, the economy, their kids. They’re not worried about the ideological battles that Raul prefers to fight. So I’m going to do everything I can to make this election about building a stronger Idaho, creating opportunity for our kids, and protecting that Idaho lifestyle that relies so heavily on our public lands.”

He added, “The conventional wisdom is that the guy with the R after his name is always going to win in Idaho, lately. Well, conventional wisdom won’t work this year,” because of the Donald Trump factor. “Things are going to happen that no one can predict.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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