Mary Ellen Nourse

State Representative Legislative District 17 Seat B

Biography & Background

Pro-life, pro-traditional family values, and proudly Idahoan describe Mary Ellen Nourse, Candidate for Idaho Legislature, District 17, Seat B.

Mary Ellen brings an enthusiastic, from-the-trenches approach to Idaho issues. Mary Ellen worked in Corrections in Idaho for the past 21 years, including employment at the Idaho Correctional Center, Idaho State Correctional Institution, and South Idaho Correctional Institution. Mary Ellen knows firsthand the challenges that the Idaho Department of Correction faces in the herculean task of caring for Idaho offenders. In addition, Mary Ellen is active in the pro-life movement in the Treasure Valley, including “40 Days for Life” campaigns and the Respect Life/Culture of Life Committee at her church in Boise. Mary Ellen is also a member of Concerned Women for America.

Mary Ellen and her husband Jim are Catholic Christians and active members of their parish in Boise, where Mary Ellen is an assistant volunteer organist. The couple have been married for 27 years.

As semi-retirees, Mary Ellen and Jim live daily the challenges that Idaho senior citizens face at the gasoline pump, the doctor’s office, and the supermarket. Jim is a Vietnam veteran and served in the Idaho National Guard for 23 years; Mary Ellen served in the volunteer Texas State Guard for two years when she lived in Nacogdoches, Texas.

A native Michigander, since relocating to Idaho in 1994, Mary Ellen enjoys the amenities of outdoor—and indoor– Idaho. She enjoys archery at the Boise Parks & Rec Range, and she and her husband Jim enjoy RV-camping in Idaho. Although the couple don’t hunt or fish, Mary Ellen and Jim are supportive of these outdoor sports. Mary Ellen looks forward to the Idaho Senior Games every summer, competing in Track & Field, representing the Boise Life Runners. Mary Ellen and Jim are avid fans of the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and Boise State University sports teams.

Mary Ellen comes from a strong background in the field of education. After 41 years as an educator, she retired in January, 2021. Mary Ellen has taught at the high school, community college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. She was an Instructor at Northern Michigan University, a Doctoral Teaching Assistant and Instructor at the University of Memphis, and an Assistant Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University. Mary Ellen has been a presenter at state, regional, and national conferences. She’s currently a member of the American Educational Research Association, National Catholic Educational Association, and National Coalition of Independent Scholars.

Mary Ellen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, a Master of Science degree from Northern Michigan University, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis. Mary Ellen completed postdoctoral coursework in Career and Technical Education Administration through the University of Idaho/Boise Center. She holds an Idaho Professional-Technical Administrator, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, and Standard Teaching Certificate with Endorsements in Communication and Economics.

Along with her music interests, Mary Ellen competes in Masters Track & Field meets. She’s also a member of the Idaho Civil War Volunteers.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Protection of Life and Dignity from the Womb to Natural Death is Priority #1. (1) The Fetal Heartbeat Law represents a major step in protection of Idaho’s pre-born citizens. (2) Euthanasia is lawful in our neighboring states of Oregon, Washington, and Montana. As our Idaho population ages, safeguards must be in place to assure that elderly Idahoans don’t become at risk for physician-assisted suicide. (3) Protection of life and dignity also includes the heinous crime of human trafficking. In 2021, Boise City Police and Idaho State Police conducted a sex trafficking “sting” operation in Boise. Eleven men were apprehended; subsequently they were charged with misdemeanors only.
2. 2. Maintenance of Family Values and Gender Identity Issues is Priority #2. (1) Marriage is between one man and one woman. (2) A voucher system would allow parents to select a school that best meets their children’s needs. (3) Regarding gender identity issues, teens who are uncomfortable with their birth sex need access to professional counseling, not referrals for hormone “treatments” or gender reassignment “therapy.” Evidence exists of adults who regret the hormone treatments they received during their teen years. USA Today featured an Op-Ed article in 2019 about one of these adults. God the Creator made two sexes, not a menu of gender choices. (3) Here in Idaho, girls’ and women’s sports must remain for females only. This is a protection of Title IX and maintains the integrity and fairness of girls’ and women’s sports here in the Gem State. Also, girls’ and women’s designated locker rooms and restrooms are for biological females only.
3. 3. Affordable Housing and Tax Relief is Priority #3. (1) Property tax relief legislation passed in the 2022 Legislative Session is a first step. Continued relief is needed. For example: Fifteen years ago, Mary Ellen and Jim purchased their home in Boise for $75,000; it’s now valued at approximately $175,000; their property taxes reflect this increase in value. (2) Affordable rental properties are a concern across Idaho. The Idaho Statesman reported in March 2022 that the median rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Boise is $1,023/month. According to the Apartment List, an individual who earns $3,000/month could afford to pay only $900/month, following the recommendation that no more than 30 percent of one’s monthly pre-tax income.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: Yes

“I have read the Idaho Constitution and the Idaho Republican Party Platform. Except for the provisions specifically noted below, I support the Idaho Republican Party Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated. I certify that I am not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.”

Sec. 2–death penalty. All life comes from the Creator. The death penalty should be enacted only in cases where the criminal poses a potential threat if s/he escapes. On the other hand, I’ve no problem with these heinous criminals doing hard labor the rest of their lives.

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