The Left uses Nonpartisan Municipal Elections to Push Dangerous Policy

Dorothy Moon, IDGOP Chairwoman

February 27, 2023

The most radically liberal politicians in America run for office under the protection of nonpartisanship. Once in office, these same “unaligned” officials raise money for the Democrat Party and push extreme policies that harm small businesses and working people. 

Decades ago, Progressives pushed for “nonpartisan” municipal elections. Their theory was simple: municipal government exists to provide services; political affiliation is immaterial to one’s ability to administer and provide services.

Of course, the days of city leaders just paving potholes or opening parks are long gone. Look around America’s cities and it’s clear things have changed: “nonpartisan” mayors of Los Angeles have pushed for the seizure of private property to house vagrants; “nonpartisan” mayors of Seattle advocated for and administer a taxpayer-funded needle exchange; “nonpartisan” mayors of Portland have called for the legalization of all drugs; and “nonpartisan” mayors of Chicago and San Antonio have authored resolutions censuring Republican presidents and Republican members of Congress. 

“Nonpartisan” leaders turn out to be ideologues pushing dangerous policy ideas and a radical agenda bent on making American urban life unlivable for anyone but the super rich and the homeless.

Idaho is not immune. The most radical Leftist leaders in our state all hold office under a cloak of “nonpartisanship.” When Joe Biden visited Idaho, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean was there waiting on the tarmac to greet him. McLean, a close political ally of Biden Cabinet official Pete Buttigieg, authored a “manifesto” advocating for the mass resettlement of refugees in Idaho and a city hiring and firing policy based on skin color and ethnic identity. Mayor McLean, a dyed-in-the-wool socialist Democrat, ran for office as a “nonpartisan” candidate.

McLean has pushed radical Leftist ideas like allowing Boise to nullify Idaho laws on abortion, gun rights, and education. “Nonpartisan” municipal leaders around Idaho flagrantly ignore the will of Idaho’s people, using their “no labels” to appear objective and moderate.

The era of nonpartisan municipal elections needs to come to an end. The Idaho Republican Party approved a resolution calling upon the Idaho State Legislature to stop sanctioning the fiction that candidates for local office are somehow free of partisan ideas or ideological preferences: Candidates for local office should run with a listed political affiliation. 

Requiring candidates to run with their party affiliation serves the common good, both because the public has a right to know what party a candidate aligns with and because greater transparency is a cure for hyper-partisanship and radical ideological prejudices.

Several recent academic studies have shown that non-partisanship tends to produce elected officials more representative of the upper socioeconomic classes than of the general populace and it aggravates the class bias in voting turnout. 

Idaho doesn’t need nonpartisan experts to rule us; we want working-class men and women to run for office and govern wisely. Partisan municipal elections will produce real benefits for the men and women who make Idaho a good place to call home.

Join the Party

Republican Party of