Republican Brad Little Wins Idaho Governor's Race, Defeating Paulette Jordan

The Democrat inspired a new generation of voters, but it wasn't enough to win in this deep red state.
Sam Morris via Getty Images

WASHINGTON ― Republican Brad Little won the Idaho gubernatorial race on Tuesday night, defeating Democrat Paulette Jordan.

Little, 64, is the current lieutenant governor and will fill the seat being vacated by Republican Gov. Butch Otter, who is retiring.

Jordan, a 38-year-old progressive, was always a long shot candidate in deep red Idaho. But the two-term state legislator trounced her competition in the primary, despite being massively out-funded by her opponent, and she built a fanatic base of supporters across party lines with her populist message. If she had won, she would have made history as the state’s first female governor and the nation’s first Native American governor.

Don’t expect Jordan to fade away after Tuesday. The way she spoke to supporters at a late-night campaign event, you wouldn’t know she had just lost. She had fans on their feet ready to start a “people-powered” movement.

“This is our time. It is our turn. It is time for the next generation to step up and to lead,” Jordan said to deafening cheers. “We will not disengage. We will not be silent. We will not simply go away. This is our Idaho.”

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