Woodings, a 'voting geek,' announces run for Idaho secretary of state

January 31, 2014 

Pledging to defend students’ and parents’ interests on the state’s Land Board — and maintaining nonpartisanship in the state’s elections office — state Rep. Holli Woodings jumped into the secretary of state’s race on Friday, Idaho Education News reported.

“I’ve always been dedicated to nonpartisanship, bipartisan solutions,” said Woodings, a Boise Democrat elected to the Legislature in 2012.

Woodings joins a crowded race to succeed retiring Republican Ben Ysursa in 2014. Four Republicans are squaring off in the May 20 primary: state Rep. Lawerence Denney; former state Sens. Evan Frasure and Mitch Toryanski; and deputy Ada County clerk Phil McGrane.

Read IEN's full story here.

Woodings is running for secretary of state to replace retiring Republican Ben Ysursa.

Woodings prompted a mix of knowing nods and puzzled faces on the House floor Thursday, when she used the daily announcement period to remind colleagues that their annual Sunshine reports are due to the secretary’s office Friday. Woodings went so far as to cite the sections of Idaho law that govern campaign finance reporting.

In 2012, Woodings easily won a three-way Democratic primary in her North and East End Boise district with 56 percent of the vote. She won the general election with 66 percent in solidly Democratic District 19.

A renewable energy consultant, Woodings is a graduate of Boise State University and is married, with two young children.

Her Friday press conference was held in the Boise offices of Metageek, which sells Wi-Fi software. Woodings’s husband, Ryan, is listed as “chief geek” on the company website.

Metageek’s offices are on the 3rd floor of the historic Jefferson Place building at 350 N. 9th St., across the hall from the Boise office of GOP U.S. Jim Risch.

Here is the press release Wooding's campaign issued:

Rep. Holli Woodings Announces Candidacy for Idaho Secretary of State

Boise, Idaho— Idaho State Representative Holli Woodings announced today that she is running for Idaho Secretary of State. Woodings was prompted to run when Secretary of State Ben Ysursa announced his plans to retire. Woodings pledges to continue Ysursa’s balanced, honest, and principled leadership to safeguard voters’ freedoms and to hold candidates and campaigns accountable.

“The first thing I did when I turned 18-years-old was to go register to vote,” Woodings said. “I have always believed that my freedom to vote is the most sacred right I have in our democracy. I know that Idahoans feel the same. I promise to do everything I can to make sure our elections are open and honest and to make voting easy and accessible to all.”

Woodings, who was named one of the 2013 Women of the Year by the Idaho Business Review, was elected to the Legislature in 2012. Notably, she opposed legislation last year that limits the voter initiative process. This year, she is working on a bill to allow people to register to vote at the same time that they renew their driver’s licenses. And, as Secretary of State, she will use her vote on the Idaho Land Board She to push for much needed reinvestment in our public schools.

Woodings and her husband Ryan have two young children. Together, Ryan and Holli have grown a technology company, MetaGeek, from a very small startup with a handful of employees to a thriving company that has more than 30 employees. Part of the Secretary of State’s job is to license businesses. As a small business owner, Woodings understands how hard it can be to get a business off the ground, which is why she wants to make sure that process is as smooth and efficient as possible.

“Idaho businesses are the key to growing Idaho’s economy,” Woodings said. “I want to do all I can to make sure that they’re not held back by red tape.”

Biographical information

Holli Woodings grew up as the youngest of three sisters in a Southern Oregon logging family. Her mother, Julie, was a hairstylist and raised the girls in Eugene while her father, Chuck, was an auto parts salesman who settled in Boise. Spending holidays and summers with her father, Holli fell in love with Idaho and chose BSU after graduating from high school. She was the first in her family to graduate from college.

After graduation, Holli went to work as a project manager in Idaho’s renewable energy industry. She had a knack for wearing multiple hats within the industry; working development, public relations and public policy issues before founding Woodings Group, an energy development consultancy. Active as an organizer for TechBoise and co-founder of Energy Drinks (a networking group for energy development professionals), Holli developed a passion for economic development issues facing Idaho. Community involvement was an inevitable choice from that point on.

Holli served three years as President of Boise’s oldest neighborhood association while starting a family with her husband, Ryan, founder and CEO of a local technology company. She helped grow the family business from 5 employees to 26 and win several “Idaho Best Places to Work” awards along the way. She helped pass the Yes! For Boise Schools supplemental levy and was elected to the State Legislature in 2012. In 2013, she was named an Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year.

Holli serves on the State Affairs, Energy, Environment and Technology, and Commerce and Human Resources committees. Her work focuses on providing high-quality education, growing innovative businesses, preserving personal freedoms, and increasing accountability in government. She has served on the Idaho Council on Industry and helped found the Idaho Clean Energy Association.

Holli lives in Boise with her husband and two children, Mary and Arthur. They enjoy hiking, camping and snowshoeing with friends.

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