CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) Idaho Democrats marked the start of their annual state convention with plenty of first-time attendees and remarks from gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan.
Idaho is one of the reddest states in the nation, but Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley said he expected to see plenty of passion from the energized crowd gathered at the College of Idaho in Caldwell on Friday morning.
"The party is in really good shape, infrastructure-wise, and we continue to grow and we continue to develop," Marley said.
He also noted the newcomers in the crowd.
"How many here are attending their first convention?" he asked, with roughly half of the crowd's hands going up.
The two-day convention is aimed at updating the platform for the party, and identifying strategies for the year ahead. Gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan told the crowd that the state Democratic party needs to be the "party of love," focused on unity.
"All I hear is hate, from the national, from the local," she said. "We have to be the party of love that saves humanity, saves society and saves our children."
Jordan also touted her support for college affordability, increasing the minimum wage, expanding health care and legalizing marijuana.
"Not only are we fiscally conservative, but we are going to stretch every dollar in the best way possible," she said. "This is how college is more affordable: We increase the minimum wage. This is how we ensure that more and more of our children go on to college and have opportunities to prosper: We build a better foundation."
Jordan urged the delegates to keep fighting for the changes they wanted to see in Idaho and head to the polls in November.
"We're fighting for the good that needs to exist," she said. "So don't give up."