BOISE, Idaho — Representative Melissa Wintrow announced Monday morning she will run for the open Senate seat in District 19. This comes after Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb announced earlier this month she will not run for re-election.
“Senator Buckner-Webb’s absence in the legislature will be felt by legislators, District 19 constituents, and the state of Idaho.” Rep. Wintrow explained. “I was honored to serve with her during her time in the Senate. In her absence, Sen. Buckner-Webb has left a legacy of elevating the voices of all Idahoans and ensuring that our most marginalized individuals have a place in the legislature. I am running for the Senate in District 19 in hopes of honoring and continuing Sen. Buckner-Webb’s work and all those who have led before me. During my time in the House, I have prioritized amplifying the voices of all Idahoans, especially those that often go unheard and protecting Idaho’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Rep. Wintrow is serving her third term in the Idaho House of Representatives for Boise's District 19. Wintrow's current committee assignments include Joint Finance and Appropriations, Transportation and Defense and Judiciary and Rules. She serves on the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission, the Public Defense Commission and the Foster Care Study Committee.
Wintrow served as a Women's Center Director and advocated for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and worked full-time in higher education for over 25 years. She serves on the board of directors for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Rep. Wintrow also teaches gender studies and a leadership development course at Boise State University.
Her legislation focuses on the criminal legal system and protecting sexual assault survivors, passing five major pieces of legislation in the past 4 years including:
- Creating the first of its kind sexual assault kit tracking system that allows sexual assault survivors to monitor the status of their sexual assault evidence
- Requiring that all sexual assault kits are tested, preserved, and tracked so that no sexual assault kit ends up lost or untested
- Ensuring that the state pays for the collection of evidence so no sexual assault victim pays for their own sexual assault kit
“I had the opportunity to pass impactful legislation in the House, some that have received national attention and have been modeled in other states. The House Minority Leader, Representative Ilana Rubel, (Rep. Erpelding before her), provided guidance and leadership that empowers the entire Democratic caucus to accomplish their goals. I will deeply miss Rep. Rubel and my other colleagues in the House, but I am ready to take advantage of new opportunities on the other side of the rotunda," said Wintrow.
Rep. Wintrow has also worked closely with the National Institute of Civil Discourse in her legislative capacity to encourage collaboration and civility inside and outside of the legislature. She has prioritized including marginalized voices in the legislature and bringing people together to compromise on solutions. She has made the decision to run for the Senate seat in District 19 to bring those practices to the Idaho Senate.
“It is an absolute honor to serve my constituents in Boise, and I am hopeful that they will trust me to continue to fight for their rights in the Senate," said Wintrow. "The Senate offers opportunities to create new relationships and consider different perspectives on legislative goals that will benefit our district and state. I will continue to propose legislation that honors Idaho values in the Senate, and I look forward to the upcoming challenges and prospects that I will face.”