Election Results

Governor

Candidate Votes Percentage
Brad Little (R) 361,671
60%
Paulette Jordan (D) 231,065
38%
Walter L. Bayes (C) 5,791
1%
Ben "Angel" Boeck (L) 6,557
1%
Lisa Marie (write-in) (I) 67
0%

Idaho Governor Survey Responses

Party
Brad Little
Republican
Republican
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Democrat
Education
Brad Little
Republican
Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business, University of Idaho
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
When I say Idaho raised me I mean that my elders educated me to be a good neighbor, to care for the land, to contribute always to the betterment of my state, to listen to others with an open heart and learn their stories. Formally, I was educated at the University of Washington where I majored in Comparative Literature with secondary degrees in American Indian Studies and Communications. I also have certificates in Strategic Communications and Conflict Resolution.
Occupation and relevant work experience
Brad Little
Republican
Rancher and small business owner
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
My family farms and ranches; I know the challenges agriculture businesses face. As a National Indian Gaming Association executive board member, I've been part of growing our industry to be a $32 billion dollar/year business that’s created 700,000 jobs. As Chair of NIGA’s Energy Committee, I know Idaho can innovate in energy. I'll incentivize INL and our universities to expand micro-reactors to contribute more to our state’s energy production and create more clean energy jobs. I will lead Idaho with innovative and visionary leadership rooted in experience and a work ethic learned from my family and elders. I’m a business leader and legislator. I’m ready to go to work for all of Idaho.
Past political experience and campaigns
Brad Little
Republican
Idaho Senate 2001-2009 and Lieutenant Governor 2009-Present
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
I’m the youngest person elected to the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council and north Idaho’s only elected Democratic, winning in ‘14 and ‘16 in District 5. Those were wins, but when I ran in 2012, I lost and I learned to less to supporters and more to those who didn’t have the same experiences as me. This made me realize that once elected, I had to represent everyone, whether they voted for me, donated to my campaign or even liked me. I n Idaho we need each other. Voters say, “We’re tired of politicians dividing us by serving the interests of big money. We’re tired of the same old politicians with the same old answers to the same old problems.” They want leaders who unite us. I will.
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy for yourself or for your business? If yes, please tell us when and the circumstances.
Brad Little
Republican
No
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
No
Have you been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony charges? (Traffic citations not included). If yes, what were the convictions and the circumstances?
Brad Little
Republican
No
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
No
Why are you running for this office?
Brad Little
Republican
Every day, a Governor makes decisions that affect all our lives, now and into the future. I will make all decisions through the lens of making sure our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to remain in Idaho or to return home. They want quality educational opportunities, affordable healthcare and employment options that provide for a good quality of life, while comfortably planning for retirement.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
To bring 21st Century solutions to the problems my opponent has ignored or been too overwhelmed by to tackle. I run for our children because our leaders fail our students by not fully funding education. This is wrong, unconstitutional and irresponsible. I run for our farmers because our leaders sit idly by as the feds impose tariffs that endanger their livelihoods. I won’t stand down, I’ll stand up for agriculture and demand a return to trade relations that benefit Idaho. I run for Idaho’s future because we need modern manufacturing/high-tech jobs, expanded tourism and increased revenues to fund business development in rural communities. I run to fill the 7,000 high-paying jobs that sit empty in STEM-related fields because Idahoans aren’t trained for these jobs. I run because we all need access to quality and affordable healthcare. I run to protect the recreational and outdoor lifestyle of Idahoans and to keep public lands in public hands.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Brad Little
Republican
Education, affordable health care, and good-paying jobs.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
My goals are simple: educate Idahoans to create, participate in, and sustain a thriving and dynamic economy, and defend our Idaho lifestyle by protecting our public lands. Education and the economy are linked. We can spend less by spending smarter and reallocating revenue to pay teachers fairly, invest in optional statewide universal preschool, and ease the financial burden of higher education on families by creating more training and certification opportunities. Idaho has to be a “user-friendly” destination for businesses to start and grow. We can attract high-paying businesses, but only with an educated workforce. We must expand Medicaid to close the coverage gap and save our state millions of dollars while improving the health of our neighbors. I will keep our Idaho lands in Idahoans’ hands and promote tourism and our legendary hunting and fishing.
Why should voters select you over your opponent(s)?
Brad Little
Republican
Idaho is a diverse state and a Governor must instinctively understand Idaho to effectively make successful decisions. Being Governor also requires relationships across the state and in the Legislature to implement your vision and be an effective leader. My background in working and leading in agriculture, small business, philanthropy, and state government has prepared me for the challenge of being your Governor. I have a track record of bringing stakeholders together to get things done.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Many Idaho families are struggling. They want a leader who shares their values and who will fight for their interests. Idaho’s values aren’t shared by current leadership, and Idahoans know this viscerally. They want a governor who values our public lands. They want a governor who will fight to bring quality education to our children. They want a governor who will preserve what makes Idaho unique and who has a vision for our future. Decades of one-party rule has not served the people. The Little-Otter administration has failed Idaho. They have failed to fund education, failed to ensure our citizens earn a livable wage, failed to protect our lands, and failed to use tax incentives to entice entrepreneurs and new businesses. Idahoans want a governor with fresh ideas. I will be that leader. I will ensure that the people have true representation in their government, not the same old rhetoric from the same old politicians with the same old ideas that fail to lift us up.
Should Idaho create a state fund to support the construction of new K-12 schools?
Brad Little
Republican
Idaho’s economy is on an incredible path, which provides us the opportunity to continue the critical investments in our public education. The past four years, Idaho has put roughly $420 million into the base of our public education budget. We are the envy of other states, with a strategic plan for moving education forward, critical buy-in from key education stakeholders across Idaho, and sustainable investments in our students. We continue to put additional funds into school construction with our bond levy equalization funding. But there is more work to do to invest in education, including funding school facilities across the state and increasing teacher pay.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Yes. The state constitution says, “it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” Current leadership’s failure to support education through the creation of such a fund is a violation of Idaho’s constitution. The economic growth that will result from properly funded education will result in additional revenues that can be reinvested back into our communities. Absolutely we should create a K-12 construction fund.
Should Idaho reduce the threshold for voter approval of local bonds from a two-thirds majority?
Brad Little
Republican
No. From my experience, I don’t believe that is necessary. As an Emmett resident, taxpayer, and public-school parent, I have participated in many local bond issues. I believe having the two-thirds majority, at this point, ensures there is sufficient and critical support from a community and their taxpayers for borrowing revenues and increasing property taxes.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Yes. I have always been a strong proponent of locally controlled government. Requiring a two-thirds majority for local bonds is anti-democratic and is not what Idahoans want. Lowering this threshold would take power away from corporate and state interests and place it back where it belongs—in the hands of the people of Idaho.
Is Idaho sufficiently funding its higher-ed institutions?
Brad Little
Republican
As Governor, I will work to ensure post K-12 costs are affordable for Idaho families and working students. Whether we are sending our children to traditional four-year institutions, community colleges, or vocational training, it is critical that we ensure all opportunities for students while simultaneously giving the institutions the tools they need to succeed. The growth in advanced opportunities is significantly increasing affordability by allowing ambitions students to gain a substantial portion of the higher education while in high school. An additional way of lowering costs is to allow colleges and universities the opportunity to keep the sales tax that is generated on their campuses. That money would then be designated to control tuition costs for students.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Idaho is not sufficiently funding our higher education institutions. We spend less per capita on higher education than nearly any other state. The result is that the costs of college and post-high school training are shifted to students and parents through annual tuition increases. Little-Otter’s failure to sufficiently fund higher education leads to Idaho having one of the lowest go-on rates in the nation. This is unacceptable. As Governor, I will stop mortgaging of our children’s futures by promoting responsible budget practices that make college and post-high school education affordable.
Does Idaho have an obligation to provide any funding for pre-K education?
Brad Little
Republican
I am supportive of earlier childhood education, but there is no one size fits all solution for our students. One proposal I will advocate for is providing local school districts the flexibility to fund things like busing, all day kindergarten, additional reading coaches, summer reading programs, pre-kindergarten and other measure to ensure children are reading proficiently by the 3rd grade, helping those students to learn for the years that follow.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
I believe Idaho does have a compelling interest in funding pre-K education, because students enrolled in quality preschools have significantly increased graduation rates and significantly higher income as adults. Investing in pre-K for our kids also produces long-term reductions in unemployment and crime. Idaho City has had a model program for years that has greatly benefited their community, while allowing parents to save money on childcare costs and better provide for their families. Funding Pre-K education is the smart thing to do. It's time for us to do that.
Should Idaho create a state fund to support public transportation?
Brad Little
Republican
I chaired the transportation task force in 2010-2011, and I believe strongly that deferred maintenance is deficit spending. We must look to many different sources to fund our infrastructure needs moving forward. There is no one solution. Retaining the surplus eliminator past next year is one option and there are discussions about using general fund revenue for some projects. I have been watching movement in Washington D.C. very closely on a potential federal infrastructure program. Idaho is more efficient than the federal government at repairing and building transportation infrastructure, and we could utilize these funds in the best possible way.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
My first funding priorities are education, growing our economy, and improving healthcare. Investments in these three areas will save money and create jobs that will increase tax revenues. Once we have made significant progress on those fronts, we can and must tackle connecting all of Idaho and improving public transportation opportunities.
Should state law be changed to allow Idaho cities and counties to institute a local option sales tax in order to pay for public safety projects, such as courtroom improvements or jail construction?
Brad Little
Republican
I have worked on tax issues for many years, including local option tax, which poses many challenges in maintaining a fair, simple, predictable, and competitive tax system for Idaho. Any local option, needs to be fair to all the communities and not concentrate the wealth in the retail cores and leave the rest of Idaho behind. Local options taxes need to be broad-based and the payers (in sales tax) should be the beneficiaries. The best options are over a wide area to prevent a fringe effect, (like Ontario, OR) where retail sales migrate to the edge of a region. I have seen where local option taxes in other states have created a mess of tax rates, affecting the predictability of the overall tax system and potentially compounding inequities in different parts of a state. I want to ensure that doesn’t happen in Idaho.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
I am a strong proponent of locally controlled government. Idahoans should be allowed to decide when and how they will generate revenue to pay for a specific project to address local or regional needs.
Do you support a repeal of Idaho?s state grocery tax?
Brad Little
Republican
Yes, I support repealing Idaho’s grocery tax. Idaho’s economy is strong, but not every community is feeling the full effects of our economic prosperity. Idaho’s economy faces many challenges, including a difficult tax climate when compared with our neighboring states. Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada do not tax groceries and Utah taxes groceries at a lower rate than its general sales tax. A repeal would quickly make Idaho’s tax code more competitive.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
The more I study this, the more convinced I am that we should, as long as we commit to finding other and creative ways to make up the lost revenue. A repeal of Idaho’s state grocery tax would help to alleviate the economic burden for the thousands of Idahoans who are stuck in Idaho’s low-wage economy. I've studied this issue and I've changed my mind: we should repeal the state grocery tax.
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to expand Medicaid?
Brad Little
Republican
Yes, I will respect the will of Idahoans and have made that very clear throughout my campaign.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Yes. When Medicaid expansion, Proposition 2, is approved by Idaho voters in November, I will work to fund it. Ninety percent of these necessary funds will be directed from federal revenues rather than from Idaho coffers. This low-cost solution is a no-brainer, and is projected to save Idaho taxpayers an estimated $34 million per year by eliminating the medical cost burden on us all of uninsured patients. These savings can then be reinvested back into our local hospitals and communities.
Would you respect the will of the voters should Idahoans elect to bring historical horse race betting back to Idaho?
Brad Little
Republican
Yes, I want to preserve Idaho horse racing all throughout the state, and I have a record of supporting the horse industry in the Idaho Senate and as Lieutenant Governor.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
I don't personally support Proposition 1, but if that is the will of the people, I will support their decision.
Should Idaho remove the exemption protecting practitioners of faith healing from prosecution following the death of a child?
Brad Little
Republican
As a parent and grandparent, and a person who supports life, we go to great lengths to protect the lives of the unborn. Protecting religious liberty is important, but I believe parents have a responsibility to protect their children.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
If autonomous adults choose to forgo lifesaving medical treatment for religious or faith-based reasons, they should be allowed to make that very personal decision. They should not, however, be able to make such a decision for our children. I support the repeal of Idaho's 'faith healing' exemption because, above all else, our laws should protect the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable people in our state.
Does Idaho need to change its cannabis laws, be it through decriminalization or legalization for medical or recreational use?
Brad Little
Republican
I do not support the legalization of marijuana, whether recreationally or medicinally in Idaho. On the issue of potential medical applications of cannabis in Idaho, I supported the state trials that used CBD oil. I will support additional CBD oil use, as long as we know for sure that it helps children and adults, and it is regulated and quality-controlled and does not negatively affect our local law enforcements ability to keep our children safe.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Because I believe in freedom, I will use my position as governor to lobby for decriminalization of recreational uses and legalization of medicinal cannabis. This has proved to be successful throughout our nation. While I support legalization of recreational uses of marijuana, I think it best for this issue to be decided through the ballot initiative process so that every Idahoan can have a say. These are complex issues and they require robust public debate. I support that debate and welcome it.
Would you support legislation prohibiting gun ownership for two years for persons convicted of domestic violence?
Brad Little
Republican
I have a strong 2nd Amendment record and I would have to review any specific legislation that would touch on Idahoans? constitutional liberties.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
As a gun owner and user, I defend Second Amendment rights and responsible gun ownership. I support such a prohibition because it will save lives while also respecting the Constitutional right of Idahoans to own guns. I also believe that we are a people of laws. When someone is convicted of breaking the law, we expect restitution and that violators will face consequences for their illegal behavior and actions. Temporarily keeping guns from people who have proven themselves to be irresponsible and who disregard the rights of others is the right thing to do. It’s the common sense thing to do.
The Idaho Board of Correction is requesting $500 million for a prison expansion. Do you support this expansion, why or why not?
Brad Little
Republican
Public safety is a critical responsibility of state and local government. $500 million is a lot of money, potentially crowding out future investments in education, transportation, and adversely affecting a cut in Idaho’s grocery tax. I am reviewing this proposal to determine if there are other, better ways to protect public safety while also safeguarding taxpayer dollars.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Current leadership’s solution to Idaho’s prison overcrowding has been to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on out-of-state private prison contracts. This has left our taxpayers at the mercy of out-of-state private prison profiteers and exposed our citizens to costly lawsuits resulting from prisoner mistreatment. Before committing tax funds to the prison industry, I believe we need to invest in more cost-effective alternatives. As governor, I will look at all possible solutions to save tax dollars, including giving judges greater discretion in sentencing and providing greater investment for rehabilitation efforts.
Idaho?s justice reinvestment committee is exploring changes to drug sentencing law in Idaho as a tool for reducing the state?s prison population. What do you think should be done in the area of drug sentencing laws?
Brad Little
Republican
I have been very involved on the issues of justice reform, addiction, and mental health for many years. Idaho has made progress on these issues, but there is more we can do to improve and enhance mental health and substance abuse resources in our state and improve and expand alternative courts. Investments in reducing the revolving door of the criminal justice system is the right thing to keep our citizens safe.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Approximately half of newly sentenced prisoners in Idaho are locked up because of drug offenses. Each one of these prisoners costs Idaho taxpayers upwards of $20,000.00 per year. In 2013, Congressman Raul Labrador co-sponsored the Smarter Sentencing Act. This legislation would have significantly reduced prison populations by reducing mandatory minimum sentences for low-risk drug offenders. We need these kinds of common-sense solutions and, as Governor, I will support legislation that gives judges greater discretion in sentencing drug offenders. I would also urge aggressive investment in in-house rehabilitation efforts to better protect our communities and children. This will reduce our prison population and lower our tax burden.
Does Idaho need to raise the minimum wage above $7.25 an hour?
Brad Little
Republican
In Idaho, wages have been rising faster than in other states, as employment continues to rise to historic levels. The minimum wage should be a starting wage, and I do not advocate expanding mandates and regulations on our businesses. My worry is that by increasing this mandated wage, it will have the unintended effect of undermining the natural, upward pressures that are today increasing Idaho’s incomes and expanding employment opportunities.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
Yes. Idaho workers have been stuck in a low-wage economy for too long. Far too many Idahoans rely on state assistance to subsidize their low wage, full-time jobs just to make ends meet, and that’s not right. This is especially wrong when many of the employers who pay poverty wages are beneficiaries of tax loopholes. Think about it: we subsidize employers who pay low wages to workers who then have to turn around and rely on the state to help them put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. No matter how you look at this, we, the taxpayers are footing the bill. This has to end. Today, 20,000 Idahoans are working two jobs and receiving taxpayer assistance. We can get people off state assistance by making minimum wages higher, and that’s what I intend to do as governor. It’s the right thing to and it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Would you support legislation requiring personal financial disclosure for statewide candidates in Idaho?
Brad Little
Republican
I’m the candidate who supports disclosure and transparency, and I have a record of supporting transparency in state government. As Governor, you lead by example, and that is why I have disclosed financially during this election, using the congressional disclosure model. Additionally, I have pledged to disclose my financial interests while serving as Governor.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
All candidates and elected officials in Idaho should be required to disclose their personal financial interests and tax returns. The goal of financial disclosures is to identify potential conflicts of interests and to establish an accountability measure against corruption. For this reason, I recently voted to introduce a bipartisan bill in the Idaho House that would require candidates and elected officials to disclose personal employment and compensation information.
What approach will you take to appointed positions, and what role will diversity play in your decision making for judicial and administrative appointments?
Brad Little
Republican
Appointments have been an important part of my role as Lieutenant Governor and I take finding the right person for a position in state government very seriously. Diversity plays a significant role in choosing that person, and a variety of backgrounds and experiences from those who are appointed and serve our state ensures better decision-making on issues that affect all Idahoans.
Paulette Jordan
Democrat
My approach to appointed positions will be merit-based and match the best people for the right jobs. My evaluation of merit will be balanced with the knowledge that we need more equal representation in leadership roles. Studies show that teams and organizations work better, smarter and more efficiently when they are composed of diverse members from all walks of life. We Idahoans are not all the same and we value that. I want to make sure that our diverse experiences and perspectives are respected and represented throughout our judicial and administrative bodies.