SANDPOINT — Danielle Ahrens announced her candidacy for the state senate July 20. Ahrens is a 58-year-old mother and grandmother who lives on a ranch north of Sandpoint. Ahrens is the District 1 as the legislative Republican chairman. She is also on the Board of Directors for Bonner County Farm Bureau serving as their government affairs chairman and the Board of Directors for Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Sandpoint.
She believes in the American dream of hard work, God, family and country. Service above self was her family’s motto and all five of her brothers and sisters followed this in their careers as they watched Danielle’s Dad serve in the US public health service as a doctor with the Army for many years.
Ahrens has earned an associate of arts degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and post-graduate certificates in criminal justice and a POST degree. She is retired from a career in corrections.
Ahrens said she decide to run to ensure that North Idaho is well represented in Boise and that the concerns of fellow North Idahoans are heard from the governor’s office to the congressional delegation and all offices in between. She said she has worked very hard at making sure that these points are accessible.
Ahrens was elected as a Colburn Precinct Committeeman and Bonner County Republican Central Committee Chairman in 2014. In 2016 she was elected Colburn Precinct Committeeman and Legislative District One Republican Chairman.
“My primary issues are helping new and small business start ups and reducing fees, taxes and regulations on local businesses so we can have living wage jobs and boost our economy. We are losing so many big companies,” she said. Ahrens added, “On education we want school choice so that parents can decide what is the best education for their children.” She also took issue with the current supplemental levy system, saying, “Funding for our schools are not being done correctly at the state level. Funds are constantly taken away and used for other projects. The local schools should not have to constantly beg the taxpayers for these levy funds and cause a tremendous burden on property owners. This constant fighting is very hard on our communities and divides us. The state legislature needs to fund the schools as it is written in the state Constitution.”
Ahrens also has a proactive program for natural resources and environmental issues.
“Our lands and resources are public and need to stay public. No more restrictions or closing off access to the people. Sixty-four percent of our state is federally owned and almost 86 percent of Bonner County. Local and state management of this land and resources would solve our school funding problems and other issues. We can manage and preserve the beautiful area that we live in for us and future generations.”
After incumbent Sen. Shawn Keough announced she would not run again next year, Keough endorsed Sagle Republican Jim Woodward as her successor. Ahrens ran against Keough in the 2012 and 2014 Republican primary elections, losing by 40 percentage points in 2012 and in an eight-percentage point loss to Keough in 2014. Ahrens initially filed for the 2016 primary but pulled out in order to promote unity among conservatives. Keough defeated Glenn Rohrer by eight percentage points in the 2016 primary election. Ahrens is optimistic about the 2018 Republican primary cycle.
“The primary election will sure give a wide choice to the voters and I think that’s great. The more voices and perspectives you have in a conversation the better the solutions.”
For more information on Ahrens, go to ahrensforidaho.com, facebook.com/ahrensforidaho, call 208-610-8894, or mail P.O. Box 712, Sandpoint, ID 83864.
The Republican primary will take place May 8, 2018.