This story originally appeared in the Idaho Capital Sun.
Lifelong Republican Jennifer Ellis almost doesn’t even recognize her own political party when she looks at some of Idaho’s far-right legislators that dominated the agenda this session.
“This far-right faction seems to be getting more traction and getting more people elected than ever before,” Ellis, a Blackfoot rancher, said in a telephone interview.
Ellis has been involved with policy work in Idaho for decades. She got her start with the PTA about 28 years ago.
For the last 25 years, she’s been devoted to agriculture policy.
She’s been active with the Idaho Cattle Association — a powerful, 100-plus-year-old trade association, past and current members of which have ascended to the highest offices in Idaho, including Gov. Brad Little and Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.
Over the last few years, Ellis has become increasingly fed up with far-right Republicans aligning themselves with what she describes as extremist groups, including anti-government activist Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights movement.