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Karen Matthee smiling, seated on outdoor steps.


Change Begins by Listening

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Working for Idaho Families to:

  1. Lower the cost of living.

  2. Bring back our doctors.

  3. Support our public schools & libraries.

Sandpoint City Beach in the spring
Karen walking and talking with someone on the Pend Oreille Bay trail


Why I'm Running

I have been many things in my life: a daughter and a sister, a friend, a student, a wife and mother and grandmother, a journalist and a poet, an outdoor enthusiast, an animal advocate. And fundamental to those many roles were the values taught to me at an early age, the primary one being ‘do right by others.’ My mother was the driving force behind this principle, having been born and raised in Alabama long enough to form her own opinion of how people should – and should not – be treated. At 3 years old, I understood the meaning of prejudice and why it should be avoided at all costs.


And now that I’ve decided to take on yet another role – that of Democratic candidate for District 1, Seat A representative with the Idaho State Legislature – I can say that, yes, I stand on this or that side of an issue. However, the key reason I am running is that I want to do right by others. And by Idaho as it is now my home. I am a relative newcomer to the state, although I’d come here to ski, hike and run rivers (raft and kayak). I had been living in Washington State when my life partner, Mike, who was about to retire, suggested we look at Sandpoint as a place to settle. His two sons grew up in Sandpoint and he had attended college in Moscow and lived in Burley. He told me the area encompassed everything I loved, and he was right.


If you were to ask me what makes a good candidate, I’d have to say it is the ability to listen – listen to what people have to say on both sides of an issue. In that regard, journalism was a good training ground for politics. I received my master of science in journalism from Northwestern University and worked mostly for newspapers in California, Washington and Texas. That was in the good ‘ol days when objectivity and balance were essential to success in the field. As a reporter, I learned that rarely were things good or bad, black or white; there was always an overlap, a gray zone. As a candidate, I hope to listen and learn from all of you in search of solutions that allow individuals and our communities to thrive.

About Me


7B Speaker Series, July 25th, Evans Brothers Coffee, 5:30-7 p.m.
Karen Matthee with Kathryn Larson: Making Life Better for Our North Idaho Families

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