Earlier in her campaign, Democratic candidate Terri Pickens Manweiler thought education and political extremism would take center stage in the race to become Idaho’s next lieutenant governor.
Although both issues were given high priority, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24 and revoked the constitutional right to abortion added another issue of critical importance to the together.
“When Dobbs came out, it was a fundamental shift in how Idaho was going to respond to the November election,” Manweiler said Friday during a meeting with the press editorial board.
She said she thinks the Dobbs decision will favor Republicans because people are happy that Roe v. Wade was eliminated.
“But it’s quite the opposite,” she said. “Everywhere I went, every person I spoke to, ‘Please preserve and protect our rights. We have lost our basic right.'”
“The idea that women can have a basic right for 50 years, and just like that they don’t have it,” she snapped her fingers, “has really created a paradigm shift in the Idaho voter mentality. They’re going to show in strength. We’re going to see a Kansas-like response in November. I needed that.
Manweiler, of Boise, is aiming to unseat incumbent Idaho House of Representatives Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, in the upcoming general election in November.
She reported major fundraising for her campaign in June and July following the Dobbs ruling. His campaign financial disclosure report on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website, sunshine.sos.idaho.gov, showed a final cash balance of $112,177.03.
“We had a huge push,” she said. “The goal was broken, now we just scored a new goal. The more we can get, the more I can get in front of every Idahoan on TV, on the radio, in digital ads.
“My opponent had a really bad month,” she said. “We had hundreds of them and I can count on one hand how many people gave him money.”
Bedke’s July financial report, filed Aug. 11, reflected a ending cash balance of $30,339.26. His donations in June and July were less than 10.
“His May report showed he had $26,000 in the bank after the primary. I assumed he would be ready to go,” Manweiler said. “When July rolled around, we thought, ‘This must be a mistake.'”
She said looking at the math, Bedke has some serious challenges ahead if he wants to win northern Idaho.
“He’s probably going to lose North Idaho, which is great,” she said. “He’s going to lose Treasure Valley, for very obvious reasons – it’s a nice little blue pocket in a big red state.”
She said the Dobbs decision motivated people to knock on doors and caused many to point fingers at current leaders.
“Treasure Valley, we’re going to win,” she said. “Eastern Idaho then becomes the battle for the lieutenant governor’s seat. I’m from there, he’s almost from there. Every time I’ve spoken to someone there, it’s been the same thing – “They take away our basic rights”. They see which party is in charge and they see him as the president of the house and they blame him. It’s going to be a close race. I just need the most one .
On taking away people’s rights, Manweiler said no one would take their guns away. She herself is a user and admirer of firearms. She shared how this stance has helped win over Canyon County residents who care deeply about gun rights.
“I hear the same thing here in northern Idaho,” she said. “If I don’t take their guns, they will vote for me.”
Manweiler plans to visit as many of Idaho’s 44 counties as possible as she continues her campaign. She will return to northern Idaho to attend the Kootenai County Democrats Democratic Dinner and a mini-convention in late September.
“The race for the Capitol is in full swing,” she said. “My plan is to win.”