Matt Kilburn, candidate for Boise mayor, announced Monday that he would suspend his campaign and instead would support City Council President Lauren McLean’s bid.
Kilburn, a 24-year-old ride-share driver, said he would have been the first openly gay mayor in Idaho, and he said in a news release that he was running “to bring some real representation of the queer community to City Hall for the first time ever.”
Instead, he said he said he would support McLean, because her ideas resonate with him and because she has shown up for the queer community. McLean has stood up for queer people in her time on the city council, Kilburn said, including spearheading the city’s non-discrimination ordinance with then-fellow councilor Maryanne Jordan.
From attending Boise Pridefest to having a stop on her listening tour specifically to talk about queer issues, McLean has demonstrated her commitment to the LGBTQ community in ways Mayor David Bieter has not, Kilburn said.
“When I think of allies, I think of her,” Kilburn told the Statesman in a phone interview.
He said that when he announced his run, he emailed Bieter and said he didn’t think Bieter had done a bad job but that it was time for change and new voices in local politics.
Kilburn plans to stay involved in politics and said he would be running again in the near future. He encouraged others to do the same, saying the future depends on young people and queer people running for public office.
“One thing I want to make clear is that I’m not dropping out because I don’t think I would make a good candidate,” Kilburn said. “Lauren is a dear friend and I’ve been waiting for her to announce. I think she will be a great mayor.”