Friday, July 19, 2024

North Idaho Democrats stand behind Joe Biden

| July 9, 2024 1:00 AM

Following a televised debate against former President Donald Trump, some donors, strategists, lawmakers and their constituents had called on President Joe Biden to bow out of the presidential election. But that isn’t the case in North Idaho.

"Bonner County Democrats stand with President Biden," Linda Larson said Monday on behalf of Bonner County Democrats. "We appreciate his service to the country, his commitment to the job, and his accomplishments in office thus far."

Local party officials cited the CHIPS Act, Infrastructure Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act as among the accomplishments of Biden's administration.

Bonner County party officials said in Monday's statement that they have chosen to back Biden's decision to remain in the race.

"We absolutely respect their concerns, and we recognize that responsible citizens committed to good governance must sometimes have tough conversations to reach the best decisions," they said in the statement.

The Kootenai County Democrats agreed. “We judge a candidate and their cabinet by their job performance and outcomes, not their showmanship and stagecraft,” the executive committee said in a joint statement. “Being lackluster on any one evening of a staged event is irrelevant when compared to a president’s overall record of accomplishments and their overall character. We support team Biden-Harris."

The Bonner County party officials said they believe the county's Democrats, like those throughout the country, recognize the election's importance.

"(We) are united in recognizing that this election is not just an important expression of our democratic processes, but an urgent call for us to defend those fundamental processes against far-right ideologies that would curtail freedoms for individuals, erode our constitutional checks and balances, and undo much of the progress that we've fought so hard for," party officials said.

Ed Koch, chair of the Kootenai County Democrats, said that debate over the presumptive nominee is part of the process. “In Kootenai County, many Republicans will admit in private that Trump is cringe-worthy. But they are not free to express that opinion without fear of retribution,” he said. “Democrats, in contrast, differ all the time publicly. Some would like to see Kamela Harris as president. Others appreciate Gavin Newsom. We respect those viewpoints. We are free to disagree, have tough conversations, compromise, and move forward with consensus supporting Biden/Harris because we can see the big picture and don’t live in fear of an autocratic leader coming after us. Discussion, not coercion, must be the political norm. That is what is at stake in the Biden/Trump election."