Idaho Democratic Convention's party leaders voiced concerns about state's education system

MOSCOW, ID - It's been a busy month for Idaho politics, both the democrats and republicans held their state conventions... and it all happened in Moscow.

Idaho's democrats finished their convention on Saturday and many party leaders voiced their concerns about the state's education system. Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why.

"How are you feeling about being a democrat today?" said Lieutenant Governor Candidate Bert Marley.

A.J. Balukoff is a businessman from Boise that's running for governor against incumbent C.L. 'Butch' Otter.

"Education is the top reason I'm running for governor," said Gubernatorial Candidate A.J. Balukoff. "We need to obey the constitution and provide a general, uniform and thorough system of public schools everywhere in the state."

"Do you think it's okay that we're 51st in the nation in education funding?" said Balukoff.

"No," said crowd.

If elected, Balukoff would be Idaho's first democratic governor in 20 years.

"It's still going to be a tough battle to win people over, to get them to support democrats, but I think when they see where the state has been going under a one-party monopoly for the last 20 years, people are ready for a change," said Balukoff. "They're ready for new leadership."

"We need more democrats in our state house," said Balukoff.

Jana Jones is another democratic candidate that's focused on education. She's running for state superintendent to replace Tom Luna.

"We really need a superintendent who will say, 'Education is our number one priority, and our kids come first,'" said Idaho State Superintendent Candidate Jana Jones.

Jones said 94 out of the state's 115 school districts have passed supplemental levies. She said that's proof that the state isn't allocating enough funding for education.

"The needs in each community are very different," said Jones. "And our local districts need to have the ability to make the decisions, and have the resources to do what's best for their districts."

And while the state government currently has a republican majority, democratic party leaders seem confident they'll be successful in the November election.

"The GOP is divided, they're fighting among themselves," said Balukoff.

Democrats also expressed their concerns about the economy at the convention on Saturday. Balukoff said he'd like to re-focus the state's Department of Commerce to grow Idaho businesses and create "livable-wage" jobs.