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Biden popular with Idaho women? You bet

Staff Writer | August 18, 2020 1:06 AM

New group attracts Republicans, Independents

In the last month, over 5,600 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have joined the Idaho Women for Biden group from counties across the state.

Founders of the group, Betty Richardson and Kassie Cerami, are longtime participants of Idaho’s political sphere. Richardson, 66, is a born and raised Idahoan and has served as chairwoman of Idaho Industrial Commission, U.S. attorney for the state of Idaho and an attorney for the United States Department of Justice.

“Kassie and I both started to see a vacuum that there were a lot of people looking to support his candidacy,” Richardson said. “We started the group to reach out to those people and it grew organically very quickly.”

Richardson, who serves as the volunteer leader of Idaho Women for Biden, said the growth of the group is from the word-of-mouth of its members.

“These women were brought together by their shared enthusiasm for Joe Biden,” Richardson said. “Regardless of their political backgrounds, they find that he shares their values and their ideals.”

Cerami, who volunteers as Biden’s Idaho campaign coordinator, said the group’s members are joined together by their opinions of the current political climate.

“They are fed up with the current political environment and are looking for someone who will bring us together as a nation we can be proud of,” she said. “That someone is Joe Biden.”

Christa Hazel is a former Kootenai County Republican Central Committeewoman and Coeur d’Alene School District trustee who recently made the switch from the Republican to the Independent party.

“I was a lifelong Republican and I’ve been very involved with Kootenai County politics and helped many campaigns,” the Coeur d’Alene resident said. “I felt like the things that were being focused on were not aligning with the concerns I have, and it’s refreshing to find women in Idaho who share my view.”

Hazel says the Biden campaign has become one that she and other members can relate to more as parents and citizens.

“I would like for us to be talking about roads, infrastructure, taxes, education, and leadership during this pandemic,” Hazel said. “I believe the Biden campaign addresses those things in a way that energizes me, and it’s been a long time for a candidate to get me excited.”

In a largely Republican state, Hazel says this new wave of women in politics and democratic competition is healthy for Idahoans.

“There is a momentum and each week I notice a little bit more,” Hazel said. “I think the competition between political parties has been lacking here and I think Idaho is better for it to have that competition.”

Hazel, who has studied law, thinks Kamala Harris is one of the most qualified vice presidential candidates the country has seen.

“The fact that she is a woman and a minority member is nice but that’s not what is forming my opinion,” Hazel said. “I think she is ready to hit the job running, and as a woman and an attorney I have immense respect for her.”

According to Richardson, the group is important because it is not based on political affiliation but serves as a place women can connect and share their concerns.

Leading up to the Nov. 3 election, Richardson says she has high hopes for Idaho Women for Biden’s growth.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Richardson said, “the sky’s the limit.”

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Info or to join: email kassie4biden@gmail.com or join the FB group ‘Idaho Women for Biden’

This story has been updated.


Christa Hazel, longtime resident of Coeur d'Alene, is a member of the Idaho Women for Biden group.