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Boise business executive Walter C. Minnick has at least two people making phone calls to Democratic party opinion leaders, exploring support for a possible run against Congressman Bill Sali, in Idaho’s First Congressional District. Several people who have received the calls confirmed this information with NewWest.Net/Boise. In 1996, Minnick unsuccessfully challenged Larry Craig for one of two Idaho seats in the U.S. Senate. He has long been well-known in Democratic circles for his fundraising abilities and other kinds of support for Democratic candidates.

Walt Minnick Exploring Possible Run Against Bill Sali

Boise business executive Walter C. Minnick has at least two people making phone calls to Democratic party opinion leaders, exploring support for a possible run against Congressman Bill Sali, in Idaho’s First Congressional District.

Several people who have received the calls confirmed this information with NewWest.Net/Boise.

In 1996, Minnick unsuccessfully challenged Larry Craig for one of two Idaho seats in the U.S. Senate. He has long been well-known in Democratic circles for his fundraising abilities and other kinds of support for Democratic candidates.

Minnick, 64, has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Whitman College and his J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard. He is Chairman of Summerwinds Garden Centers, and was President and CEO of Trus Joist International for many years. He was Chairman of the Board of Albertson College in Caldwell, serves in various advisory roles at Boise State University, and supports several local educational projects. Minnick served in the U.S. Army as an economist at the Pentagon during the Vietnam years, afterward joining the Nixon White House staff under Egil Krogh.

Minnick has been married for 17 years to A.K. Lienhart-Minnick, former anchor at all three network TV stations in Boise. They have two young children. Minnick also has two older children and one grandchild.

Minnick has not yet returned a phone call, but when he does this story will be updated.

Disclosure: The Minnicks are good friends of mine, but the story came from other sources.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

Comments

  1. Colonel Bain says:

    Walter should have a much better chance this time as “conditining” is to stay cool in political races..

  2. Mike Kennedy says:

    If Walt Minnick decides to run, the Democrats will have a chance to back one of the most decent, honorable, smart, successful, competent, humble, and loyal people I have ever known.

    With no disrespect to either Larry Grant, whom I like, or Rand Lewis, who is an impressively smart and competent professional, if Walt Minnick runs he should be the nominee.

    I had the privilege of working as Field Director on Walt’s unsuccessful Senate campaign in 1996, and since then I have had many political experiences in Idaho politics, including winning a contentious election myself in a tough political environment. But I learned more about success in life, personal discipline, and professional integrity from Walt Minnick than anyone else I’ve ever worked with, bar none.

    In politics winning requires a candidate who is self-aware, respects the people, understands campaigns, listens to good advice, rejects bad advice, and more than anything else will work 24×7 on the right tasks. I can personally attest that Walt has those critical character traits in spades.

    I’m somewhat surprised that Walt might even consider running for office, because he does not even remotely need politics at this stage of his impressive career. But maybe that’s exactly what we need right now – a leader who is beholden to no one and has the towering integrity to speak truth to power – competently and effectively.

    My more than a decade-long friendship with him assures me that Democrats could not possibly do any better in fielding a candidate than supporting a man like Walt Minnick.

    Regards,

    Mike Kennedy
    Coeur d’Alene City Council

  3. James A. McFellin says:

    Walter Minnick should decide either to be a Democrat or a Republican. Blue Dog Democrat went out decades ago; today there is no such thing! If the Republicans want to play hard ball with Obama’s stimulus package, so be it. Minnick should stick with his party; or become a Republican. The other 10 Democrats should also make up their minds to be a Democrat or a Republican. The citizens of The United States elected a new President to clean up a mess. The Republicans in Congress need to get their heads out of the sand and face reality. Being obstructionists does nothing to help.

    Jim