Election Central

Caldwell’s Manning seeks rematch with Hixon for Idaho House

Travis Manning, who won a respectable 46 percent of the vote against freshman Rep. Brandon Hixon in 2012, seeks to become the first Canyon County Democrat elected to the Legislature in 32 years.

Manning, 43, an English teacher at Vallivue High School, announced his candidacy Monday at Caldwell High School. He cited two measures that have become popular talking points for Democrats: Idaho’s No. 1 national ranking in the proportion of minimum-wage jobs and No. 50 rank in per pupil public school funding.

“Perhaps there is a correlation between the two,” said Manning. “If we don’t invest in education, we don’t reap the rewards of an educated workforce.”

Manning significantly outperformed eight other Canyon County Democrats in 2012, who averaged 32 percent. The last Democrat elected in Canyon County was Sen. Terry Reilly in 1982; Reilly died in 1986 in a plane crash while running for lieutenant governor.

Hixon, 32, likely was damaged by reports that he’d been charged with five misdemeanors and 15 infractions, which he described as youthful indiscretions.

“It’s not a reflection on what’s going to happen in the future,” Hixon told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “You basically grow up. You understand what true responsibility is. You make commitments and you stick to them.”

In December, the Press-Tribune reported Hixon hadn’t paid his mortgage since June 2012 and his home is in the foreclosure process.

Hixon has yet to draw a GOP opponent. But as one of 14 House GOP freshmen who voted for Gov. Butch Otter’s state-run health exchange, he may well face a challenge. Candidates must file by March 14.

Hixon has a significant financial advantage, having raised almost $13,000 in 2013, most of it from lobbyists and political action committees. He spent over $10,000 in calendar 2013, with about $2,500 in cash as of Dec. 31.

Manning raised nothing in 2013 and reported $1,817 in debt as of Dec. 31.

Manning is a graduate of Ricks College and BYU. In 2011, he founded the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, partly because of his opposition to the “Students Come First” laws overturned by voters in 2012.

A photo of Manning with his wife, Ann, and three children, appears below, followed by a news release on his announcement.


Caldwell, Idaho—Teacher and Executive Director of the Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho Travis Manning announced today that he will run for the Idaho House of Representatives seat 10A.  He made the announcement at Caldwell High School in Caldwell.

“I have dedicated my adult life to serving in the communities in which I have lived,” Manning said.  “As a teacher, coach, mentor, Sunday School teacher, and Scout leader to thousands of kids, I have devoted my life to promoting the next generation and future of our state.”

Manning decided to run again for the Idaho House when he saw that it was again business as usual at the Idaho statehouse. Idaho is 50th in the nation for public school funding per child.  Idaho is 1st in the nation for the highest number of minimum wage jobs.  “Perhaps there is a correlation between the two,” Manning asked, “if we don’t invest in education, we don’t reap the rewards of an educated workforce.”  Manning is running again because the hard working folks of Idaho are getting squeezed.  “Healthcare costs continue to escalate, wages remain stagnant, yet the lobbied interests and well-connected continue to receive corporate welfare,” he said.

Manning has dedicated his adult life to teaching, coaching and mentoring young people.  He has devoted his life to promoting the next generation and future of our state.  Travis, a lifelong outdoorsman, is a public school teacher who served in Scouts in his youth and as a Scoutmaster as an adult.  A wrestling coach, community volunteer, avid supporter of the Caldwell YMCA, a dedicated person of faith, and family man, Travis pours all his time, energy and talent into growing our greatest Idaho product:  our young people.

“What does Caldwell want in a legislator?” Manning asked.  “They want prosperity. They want more job security, a living wage, and confidence that they can retire with dignity,” he said.  “They want a focused and independent-minded legislator they can trust to act in an ethical, responsible manner to represent all Idahoans – not just bow down to party bosses and special interests,” he said. “I am focused, responsible and with a moral fiber honed from a lifetime of service.  Principled leadership is what Caldwell wants, a community builder is what this office demands.”

Travis Manning Biography:

For over 20 years, Travis Manning’s honesty and hard work have helped thousands of kids and made his communities, and Idaho, a better place.

Travis, 43, and wife Ann moved to Idaho 9 years ago because they thought it was the best place to raise a family.  Travis and Ann have 3 children, the twin boys, Cael and Whitaker age 4, and their adopted daughter from China, Eliza, 3, adopted during his first run for the Idaho House in 2012.  He is an Eagle Scout and former high school wrestling standout from Tacoma, Washington who has deep Idaho roots, and graduated from now BYU-Idaho in 1993.

As a teacher and community builder, Travis is active in his teacher organization serving on numerous committees.  He has been a Scout leader for much of his adult life.  And he has helped watchdog our democracy as Executive Director of The Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho, enabling parents, teachers and community members to learn and speak out about our public schools and how we can better protect them.  He has been a voice for those who were afraid to speak out.

Travis has worked to shape the character of Idaho’s greatest natural resource: our kids.  He has been a public voice of reason with the op-eds he has written in newspapers statewide.  He has worked with legislators from both parties to make sure the voices of Idaho citizens are heard at the statehouse.

Travis Manning applies the same basic values to everything he does:  Act responsibly.  Speak truth to power.  Put other people first.  Support fair treatment and respect for all Idahoans.  As a principled leader, it is why he has been able to make such a difference in the lives of thousands of kids he has worked with over the years and it is why he will be able to make such a difference for Caldwell, and why he will be able to do even more as the next Representative in Caldwell’s District 10 seat A.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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