Last week, Boise city officials canceled an Ammon Bundy campaign event planned for September 10th at Cassia Park due to the reservation misrepresenting the scale of the event and being made under a different name.
Who was the name on the official park reservation?
If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Clendenon is more than the events’ coordinator for Ammon Bundy’s campaign for governor. She’s also running for the Idaho State Senate in West Boise’s District 15 as a Constitution Party candidate. This race puts her in competition with the GOP nominee, Rep. Codi Galloway.
Right off her freshman term as State Rep, Galloway is attempting to make the leap to the senate chamber having already defeated five-term incumbent Senator Fred Martin in the May GOP primary. (Interestingly, as chair of Senate Health and Welfare, Martin has been a frequent target of Clenendon’s Health Freedom Idaho.
Arguably, the activities of Clendenon, Health Freedom Idaho, and the Idaho Freedom Foundation contributed to Galloway’s defeat of Martin. But now Clendenon and Galloway find themselves competing for voters’ attention.
Before running for office, Clendenon’s activism was closely tied with Health Freedom Idaho and, more recently, Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights Network. In 2020, she participated in one of the protests at the Capitol that resulted in Ammon Bundy being dragged out and arrested. And last year Clendenon was one of the scheduled speakers at a “mask burning” event attended by current GOP party chair, Dorothy Moon.
More recently she was actively involved in the People’s Rights protest of Child Protective Services involvement in the child neglect case of Bundy family friend and campaign funder, Diego Rodriguez. After threats from Bundy directed at the hospital that was treating the child, St. Luke’s had to go on lockdown as police prepared for armed protests. Clendenon and then co-director of Health Freedom Idaho, Miste Karlfeldt, went on to question their sheriff and made a video about that experience calling for more “constitutional sheriffs” — meaning they want sheriffs in Idaho to ignore state and federal law and make decisions independent of what current law mandates.
The Republican challenger in the race, Codi Galloway, seems committed to not letting Clendenon exclusively own the furthest-right flank of the party. During her first term, Galloway frequently broke ranks with more moderate Republicans including opposing Governor Little’s funding for workforce housing and voting to move public funds into private religious schools.
But there is not a more blunt and vocal critic of Little than Clendenon, whose social media and political speech has been focused on taking the governor to task for nearly every position. In response to the special session, Clendenon shared a story from IFF claiming “It’s official: Little surrenders to socialists” with the caption “Little Brad is super gross.”
Will there be a race to win support of Bundy supporters between Galloway and Clendenon? Both candidates seem eager to appeal to the right flank, but Clendenon’s close ties to Bundy might give her the upper hand. And while Galloway is favored to win, she is coming off of a competitive primary where she depleted much of her campaign’s resources and political insiders are not counting Clendenon out. No matter the outcome, we’re sure Clendenon will be one to watch.