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Woodward announces bid for L1 Senate seat

| September 7, 2023 1:00 AM

SAGLE — Former state Sen. Jim Woodward has announced plans to seek a return to the Legislative District 1 Idaho Senate seat.

Woodward said he decided to enter the 2024 Republican primary election race because Scott Herndon, a first-term incumbent, “reflects neither real Idaho values nor embraces principles” held by a majority of the region’s residents.

“It’s clear Herndon believes our North Idaho values are wrong,” Woodward said. “They are not. He, and the out-of-state groups that fund and pull his strings, are the outliers.”

Woodward, 52, who was raised in Bonner and Boundary counties, graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Idaho. He served 21 years in the U.S. Navy, both in active and reserve duty, retiring as a commander.

A lifelong Idahoan, Woodward said his roots in the state run deep. It is what brought him back to North Idaho, where he owns and operates an excavation and marine construction business.

Jim and his wife Brenda, a teacher and regular part of the Sandpoint Farmers Market for more than two decades, have been married for 29 years. The couple have two children.

Woodward said he is vested in both Idaho and the nation.

“I spent years of my life underwater, in defense of the entire population of the United States, on a submarine ready to fight an actual war,” Woodward said in announcing his candidacy. “Herndon’s culture wars are based on his personal interests. I focus on a broader picture using real Idaho values which benefit the majority.”

A Republican since registering to vote after he graduated from Bonners Ferry High School, Woodward served two terms in the State Senate from 2018 to 2022, representing District 1. Woodward said he lost his bid for another term by not aggressively challenging the half-truths and deceptive campaign advertising that deluged mailboxes.

“I did not anticipate the aggressive and deceitful messaging, directed and well-funded by national groups, intent on using Idaho as a laboratory experiment for their dangerous political agenda,” he said.

“That changes with this announcement,” Woodward said. “The vast majority of Idahoans believe in civility, quality public education, the right to life, the right to possess firearms, and certainly in equality for women.”

“Having grown up here, I understand the value we place on our privacy and the ‘live and let live’ atmosphere we have always cultivated. We work hard, and we expect nothing less from our government.”

Civically active, Woodward is a board director on the Northern Lights Electric Co-op and represents the Co-Op at the state level as a board member of the Idaho Consumer Owned Utilities Association. He is a Sagle Fire District commissioner and serves as the Sagle representative to Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS.

He is also a member of the Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Board, a regular volunteer in the school district, and a member of the Governor’s Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission.

For further information, visit WoodwardForSenate.org.