Kootenai County Democratic Chair Paula Neils announced today that the Democratic Central Committee voted to declare its non-support of the candidate for Kootenai County Sheriff on the Democratic ballot, Tina Kunishiga. Based on an in-person interview, individual conversations between Kunishiga and CC members in the past few months, and an examination of her campaign literature, the Committee agreed that her views on the role of the sheriff are incompatible with those of the Democratic Party in Kootenai County. Her filing for the office of Sheriff on the Democratic ballot is a strategic move to avoid a three-way race on the Republican ballot on May 17.
While some of Kunishiga’s values are consistent with the values of the Democratic Party, the Committee found it difficult to believe that her deeply-held beliefs about the interpretation of the US and Idaho Constitutions and about the appropriate role of the sheriff would permit her to impartially carry out the sheriff’s responsibilities. Her lack of training and experience in law enforcement also would seriously jeopardize her ability and credibility in carrying out the duties of the office.
The Democratic Central Committee is urging Democrats to omit their vote for the office of sheriff on the Democratic ballot.