Idaho Representative Priscilla Giddings Faces Censure Next Month
I can easily say I’m glad I haven’t shared the pressure placed on Priscilla Giddings in the last six months. If you follow Idaho politics, you know a committee of her peers in the State House of Representatives recommended censure and removal of a committee assignment. That may come for the Republican from White Bird during a special session in November.
I’ve been observing political campaigns for 50 years and professionally for nearly 40 and I’ve not quite seen anything like what I did over the weekend.
While I’m still not clear on all the details. Giddings initially was suspicious of a claim made by a legislative volunteer. The intern claimed to have been raped by Republican Representative Aaron von Ehlinger last March. He was finally charged in September. During a legislative hearing last spring, the alleged victim testified. During the hearing, some of Giddings' colleagues believed she was out of line. As I gathered, Representative Giddings wanted more details and wanted to believe von Ehlinger’s story of a consensual relationship. Both Republicans are military veterans.
Many of you also know Giddings is a candidate for Lt. Governor. How will a censure impact her campaign? A liberal newspaper columnist named Chuck Malloy worries it will only make her stronger. He worries because he’s a liberal and doesn’t like Giddings.
Others very much like her. I’ve been getting feedback about her personal appearances. To that point, I believed the tales were exaggerated.
On Saturday, she had a tent at the Liberty Festival in Twin Falls. I pulled up a chair and watched as she greeted a steady stream of visitors. One man broke into tears and praised the woman. Veterans shared their stories. Giddings served as an A-10 combat pilot before entering into politics. I’ve been observing political campaigns for 50 years and professionally for nearly 40 and I’ve not quite seen anything like what I did over the weekend.
Giddings doesn’t need a majority. Her current opponents include House Speaker Scott Bedke and former legislator Luke Malek. They’re pursuing the same voting bloc. This is going to be a very rollicking race for the May primary.
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