As I've diaried before, I'm the treasurer for Debbie Holmes' Congressional campaign here in ID-02. We've often felt that we're the "ignored" race in Idaho. Walt Minnick and Larry LaRocco both get a lot more press than we do.
But even our admittedly shoestring campaign may turn some heads next week. More below the fold:
Here's the district, stretching from eastern Boise all the way to the Utah and Wyoming borders:
ID-02 has a Cook PVI score of R +19, making it one of the reddest areas in the entire country. One county here (Madison) gave Bush over 90 percent of the vote in 2004.
Our candidate this year is Debbie Holmes, a Boise real estate agent and mother of three. She's a first-time candidate and not a politician in any sense. She ran on the urging of her son Jesse, a senior at the College of Idaho. (Side note: Jesse Holmes is a sharp guy; I expect to see more of him around here in the coming years). Among many other things, Debbie is passionate about economic issues and is committed to finding a solution to the housing market woes.
There have been no polls. No ads. No analysis on the cable networks. Not even a single diary here (other than things I wrote on the campaign itself). Everyone assumes the Republican incumbent, Mike Simpson, will win handily. Indeed, Simpson faced perhaps his most spirited challenge to date from former state Rep. Jim Hansen two years ago. Even so, Simpson defeated Hansen 62-34. Hansen is now our state party executive director.
Our campaign this year has raised less than $15,000, but almost all of it has come from individual contributions under $100 from inside the district.
Yet even at this late hour the checks keep coming (I have to make yet another bank deposit tomorrow). And the good word of mouth. At considerable personal sacrifice, Debbie has crisscrossed our massive district since declaring her candidacy in March. She's made some particuarly good inroads in Idaho Falls, a deeply conservative, Mormon city in eastern Idaho. Debbie's "real people" approach has struck a chord among those who got to know her and her campaign.
We're well aware that nothing short of the most massive Democratic landslide will unseat Mike Simpson this year. However, I think we may surprise a few people all the same.