Governor Brian Cronin.
I kind of like the looks of that, at least from the standpoint of a Democratic candidate who could run an interesting race in Idaho’s otherwise predictable gubernatorial elections.
The Boise state representative has a lot to offer. He’s young, bright and articulate. He works hard, asks good questions and is well respected in the Legislature.
At age 40, he is in the prime of his life – a refreshing contrast from the 60-something people coming from the Republican side.
Voters could expect Cronin to be an aggressive advocate for education, as he has been with his opposition to Supt. Tom Luna’s education-reform proposals. If those who have been so vocal in opposition to Luna’s plan rallied behind Cronin, he’d have a fighting chance.
Cronin would have his share of challenges. He’d have to convince Idahoans that it is in their best interest to add one or two cents to the sales tax for education; to eliminate tax exemptions; to raise beer and wine taxes for Medicaid; to add a few cents to the gas tax for roads; and maybe even to find creative ways to “tax the rich.”
One thing is for sure, Cronin would have the full support of the Statesman’s editorial board – no need to even do interviews. The glowing profile on the front page offers a clue. By reading the profile, you’d think that the guy is without flaws. And here was the headline that would make any politician proud: “Boise Democrat gives voice to the frustrated.”
I imagine that, as a whole, the media would be friendly toward a Cronin candidacy. He has a personality that connects well with people, and that plays well with the media. As an adviser to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady, Cronin probably has a good idea about what works and what doesn’t on the campaign trail.
With the next election three years out, don’t expect announcements anytime soon. But it’s not too early for him to be thinking about it, and I hope he does. Except for Congressman Raul Labrador, there’s a lot of old blood in Idaho politics. It’s time for people in their 40s, or younger, to step forward.