Guest Opinions

Kristin Collum: My tech and military background makes me the leader Idaho needs

The Idaho Statesman asked the candidates in major statewide races to submit guest opinions explaining their stances and why they should earn your vote. Their columns will run throughout this week. Read opponent Janice McGeachin’s guest opinion here.

As a military veteran, a moderate and a mother of four, I see our country, our communities and our families being stretched like a rubber band by the extremes of both political parties. We’re at a breaking point where we’ve moved from a place of pride and leadership to one of fear, anger and divisiveness. I’m running for Idaho lieutenant governor because I run to the fire. When I see a problem, I want to be part of the solution. At this time, we need to return to the middle, work together for what’s best for our state and our people, and get things done.

Born and raised in Great Falls, Montana, I joined the Army out of high school and left with a master’s degree, joined as enlisted and left as an officer. I served in NATO, worked at the Pentagon for Colin Powell and led as a signal officer platoon leader in an infantry division.

Twenty-one years ago, I came to Idaho to work in the tech sector, where I’ve successfully led dozens of teams and critical international programs. I pull together the stakeholders, experts and opposing sides to align on winning goals and accomplish the mission.

As a veteran, I understand teamwork. The concepts of putting people first and service before self are ingrained in me. As a tech leader, I am adept at working up, down and across large organizations to get things done. I established a reputation as an adaptive, fast-learning leader who could be dropped into any situation, regardless of the scope — from multimillion-dollar projects to multinational teams — to land, create a team and accomplish the mission.

As your lieutenant governor, I will preside over, and uphold the decorum of, the state Senate. I am the experienced, solid leader who can step in for the governor, whoever that may be, and keep the ship steady.

Additionally, I offer my leadership to strengthen the state’s fledgling cybersecurity program, ensuring your personal data is protected and is not at undue risk of being stolen or costing Idaho taxpayers millions.

Finally, as a veteran, I will gladly assist the governor, commander in chief of the Idaho National Guard, and will proudly represent Idaho veterans and our families.

I love our state and seek to pull us back together in these divisive times, and put people before party. Esto perpetua!

Democrat Kristin Collum, an Army veteran and tech leader, is running for Idaho lieutenant governor.
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