Author: Chuck Malloy, Idaho Politics Weekly

Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher can do a lot of things in his official capacity – including casting votes and helping his First District constituents navigate the federal government’s maze. But he might not be much assistance when it comes to career counseling.

“Yeah, I’m a real genius,” he said, chuckling. “I left a commercial real estate brokerage business at the peak of the market in Idaho to get my head kicked in.”

And all that for a job in which the pay is comparatively low, the hours are horrible and the travel is brutal. But after almost one year in Congress, Fulcher says he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s an honor to serve the people of Idaho,” he says. And even with all the hoopla surrounding the impeachment of President Trump, which Fulcher opposed along with his House Republican colleagues.

A year ago, Fulcher – as with other freshmen – went to Washington with an open mind and a sense of optimism. He wasn’t especially pleased about Democrats being in the majority, but it didn’t douse his enthusiasm. Along the way, he met some freshman Democrats who had similar thoughts about breaking the partisan gridlock and moving in a new direction.

Fulcher spent his early days getting to know his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and even had a pleasant chat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was all good … until impeachment started taking center stage. Then, partisanship hit a fever pitch. Some of the issues that motivated Fulcher to run in the first place, such as health care and the national debt, went by the wayside. There was no refuge in the committee rooms.

“When you walk into a room that is already politically charged, the first thing you have to do is diffuse people. It’s diffuse first, then we can talk. That kind of thing keeps you awake at night,” Fulcher says.

View the full article here.