Greater Idaho

Greater Idaho, as envisioned by the supporters of a ballot initiative submitted to the Douglas County Clerk’s Office, would include southwestern and eastern Oregon and eventually expand to include northern California.

Idaho governor says he understands rural Oregonians

{child_byline}CARISA CEGAVSKE

Senior Staff Writer

The News-Review

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The governor of Idaho told Fox News last week he understands why rural Oregonians would want to join his state.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s comments followed news that voters in Douglas and Josephine counties may see ballot measures this November asking their approval of the idea. Co-Chief Petitioner Valerie Gottschalk told The News-Review earlier this month that the dream is for southwestern and eastern Oregon to separate from the northwestern counties and join Idaho.

If they did, Idaho’s population would increase by 71% and the state would for the first time have a coastline. Proponents of the measure say they want to join Idaho because Oregon’s legislature is too liberal and doesn’t listen to what rural Oregonians want. They believe they’d benefit from lower taxes, fewer business regulations and less gun control.

Little told Fox News he believes Greater Idaho supporters want more freedom.

“It’s their call. I understand what takes place in the Portland area has a big impact on those rural parts of Oregon, and I understand they’re looking at Idaho fondly because of our regulatory atmosphere, our values. That doesn’t surprise me one bit,” he said.

The legislatures of both states and Congress would have to approve before the state’s boundaries could change. The countywide votes wouldn’t really control anything, though they could give supporters a feel for how popular the idea is in rural counties.

If rural counties do divorce Oregon and marry Idaho, there’s one condition the governor made clear in the interview: Idaho plans on keeping its name.

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Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(1) comment

smedleyb

This rural Oregonian in no way wants to become a part of Idaho. I would urge anyone who wants to become part of that state to up and leave. The sooner the better.

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