Keith Allred is (reportedly) the Democrats' mystery candidate for governor

In one of the shortest-lived mysteries in Idaho political history, Democrats appear to have their "secret" candidate for governor.

And he's an interesting pick: Keith Allred, a former public policy professor at Harvard who returned to his native Idaho to head up the respected (and nonpartisan) good-government group The Common Interest.

NewWest.Net's Jill Kuraitis broke the story Wednesday night. Allred is expected to appoint a political treasurer and file the required paperwork with the secretary of state's office, a precursor to March candidate filing process.

Allred may be a relative unknown statewide — especially compared to incumbent Gov. Butch Otter and even GOP primary challengers Rex Rammell and Sharon Ullman, an Ada County commissioner.

But he's well-known around the Statehouse and Idaho public policy circles. His group has analyzed some of the most vexing issues on the legislative agenda — from transportation funding to closed party primaries. The group has also remained assiduously nonpartisan, which makes Allred's jump into partisan politics a stunner.

Allred's legislative record has been mixed. In the spring of 2006, Allred helped to broker a compromise on property tax relief, by tying the state's homeowner's exemption to changes in the Idaho House Price Index, a more accurate measure of the real estate market. In 2009, Allred pushed a beer and wine tax increase, with proceeds dedicated to substance-abuse treatment programs. That bill died in a House committee, after a vigorous lobbying and social media campaign helped galvanize opposition.

If Otter is a populist's populist, then Allred is a wonk's wonk. Which will make for a fascinating study in contrasts.

Of course, the past 24 hours have been fairly fascinating too. On Wednesday, Democratic organizer Betty Richardson sent out a strangely worded note to supporters.

"I know you've all been hoping that we would be able to identify a real leader, someone with ability and vision who will not only make a great gubernatorial candidate, but who will make an outstanding Governor," wrote Richardson, the former U.S. Attorney and congressional candidate who is heading up Democrats' recruiting efforts.

"Although I can't release the name just yet, I am very pleased to report that such an individual is preparing to step forward and offer Idahoans a clear choice in the 2010 election. Of course, we'll have to wait for the primary election to see how this all shakes out, but I am absolutely thrilled that at least one candidate will be running who has the intelligence, integrity, energy and experience to run a winning campaign and, once inaugurated, truly transform state government.

"Expect an announcement in the very near future."

So much for the suspense, apparently. ...

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This is the big secret candidate?

Yawn. I'll admit he is a smart guy with a lot of knowledge about public policy in Idaho (which often seems to be a handicap in political elections), but the "we have somebody exciting but can't tell you who it is" was very annoying. I know the democrats were trying to create some hype, but the candidate isn't that surprising or exciting. That said, I certainly hope that his experience will help raise the level of discourse during the campaign and we actually here from candidates on complex issues rather than polarizing sound bites.

Allred for Governor -"You Betcha"

This is the best news of the year.

Keith Allred has been the smartest man in the Capitol Building during the last several Legislative sessions.

He has already written and presented bills.

He found the mistake in the proposed Transportation bill that would have costs taxpayers more if it had passed.

He gathers information better than anyone in politics, and then he has the ability to explain the facts to the voters.

He doesn't twist or hide information, he simply informs.

His research on bills, his presentation of how a bill affects Idahoans and the true costs to implement an action
is brilliant.

Log on to The Common Interest site to see for yourself.

Mr. Allred is a Leader and he has already proven he is honest and hard working; we haven't seen his kind in years.

Not since Andrus.

Not since Andrus.

Better than past candidates,

Better than past candidates, but still unelectable in Idaho.


Good news and big news -- this guy has what it takes to unite the state and use some common sense in the issues faced by state government. HOORAY!

I'm in...

Keith will do a great job in a (much needed) non-partisan way. I'm a conservative leaning independent who will support this democratic candidate.

That would be The Common Interest

Idaho's lucky that Allred is willing to serve.


NewWest.Net's Jill Kuraitis broke the story Wednesday night

ha ha
Too bad Statesman!
Dem candidats don't even come to the Statesman first.

Get some sleep, pimp2. You work too hard, it shows.

Like a midair collision with a tugboat

So much for the non-partisan tag

Now he has publicly (or at least Jill has) acknowledged what he really is, just another tired liberal

Commmon Interest -- common sense

You need to become familiar with the Common Interest organization.

Anybody that wants what I want is hogging my stuff.

Like a midair collision with a tugboat


for giving credit to New West for breaking the story.

Now who will be gluing it?

Like a midair collision with a tugboat