Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad has announced his intention to run for governor of Idaho as a Democrat, and while he knows it’s an uphill battle in a state with a Republican supermajority, Rognstad says he has plenty of practice building coalitions in an ideologically diverse area of Idaho.
Like the time he worked with far-right legislator Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, and the Kalispel Tribe to help stop plans to build a silicon smelter near the border town of Newport, Washington, out of concern for air quality in the North Idaho panhandle.
“(Scott and I) don’t see eye-to-eye on pretty much everything, but this was one thing we could see eye-to-eye on,” Rognstad said.
That will be his philosophy as a candidate — to find areas of agreement and common values and focus on what can be accomplished together based on that.
Rognstad made his announcement in Lewiston on Monday afternoon. He is the second Democrat to announce intentions to run for governor, along with Melissa Sue Robinson, a transgender woman who is running as an advocate for LGBT rights and ran for Nampa mayor in 2009, 2013 and 2017. On the Republican side, Gov. Brad Little has been fundraising for reelection but has not yet officially declared he will run again. Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin announced she would run for the post as a Republican over the summer, along with Ed Humphreys, Ammon Bundy and Steve Bradshaw. Republicans Lisa Marie, Cody Usabel and Jeff Cotton have also appointed treasurers for a campaign.
John Dionne and Robert Dempsay have appointed treasurers as unaffiliated candidates, as well as Constitution Party candidates Pro-Life and Chantyrose Davison.