Serving as a Kootenai County Commissioner would be a tremendous honor. I love this community where I grew up, and I am running because I believe I can represent the people who live and work here with integrity and honesty. I am running because I want this County to be a place where my family –and all families – will thrive.

You may be asking yourself, why should I vote for John Padula? What kind of person is he? Let me start with some basics about how I see myself and what is important to me.

If you look at some of the greatest leaders in history who have made the world a better place – from military leaders like George Washington to political leaders like Abraham Lincoln or to moral leaders like Mother Teresa – they share one outstanding trait: they have servant’s hearts. 

While I would never presume to put myself in the same category as these leaders, I look to them for guidance in understanding what it means to be a leader. Leadership is not about telling people what to do. It is about serving those under your authority in such a way as to bring out their best. Leadership is only meaningful if, through your efforts, the people you lead or govern have the opportunity to make the most of their gifts or, in this case, to make our community the best place it can be for all of us. 

A lot of people know the story of my life, how I was a lost soul for many decades, and how God, through His grace, lifted me up. But my story is not so much about what I did then versus what I do now. The more fundamental transition was from being a person who used my strength and capabilities to hurt and take from others to becoming a person who helps and gives to others. It took God’s grace to show me that the talents and capabilities He gave me had purpose and meaning. That understanding has enabled me to obtain the greatest joy of my life – my family – and I spend my life trying to bring that message to others. Now, by running for County Commissioner, I want to apply the gifts God gave me toward helping our community in a different way.

The most important values to me in my life are integrity, honesty, and humility. Believe me, these ideals are not just words to me; they are the guiding principles I call upon daily to drive my actions. My role – and the role everyone should have – is not to take from the world but to give to the world.

Integrity is the foundation upon which voters can trust me to do what I say and to stand for what I believe in. My faith instills in me a deep sense of accountability and integrity, knowing that I will have to answer not only to my fellow man but also to God Himself for my decisions and actions. My faith compels me to adhere unwaveringly to the principle of honesty. When I make a promise to my constituents, they can trust that it is backed by my commitment to serve with honor. It is at the core of my being.

I believe in being forthright and transparent with the people I serve, even when the truth may be difficult to hear. Honesty fosters trust and open communication, which is essential for building strong and vibrant relationships and a thriving community. I will be honest with the people of Kootenai County, even if it may put me in an uncomfortable or inconvenient situation. Honesty is not just a virtue but a moral imperative, and I will strive to uphold this value in my service to you.

To have a servant’s heart, one must embrace humility. It is perhaps the most underrated but essential quality in a leader. A humble leader recognizes he is not infallible and does not have all the answers. Humility encourages me to listen patiently and openly to your concerns, to consider differing viewpoints, and to collaborate with others for the greater good of our community. My faith teaches me to value humility as a virtue. I embrace it wholeheartedly as I seek to serve as a County Commissioner.

My faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which all of these values rest, and this is consistent with the founding principles that govern this country, Idaho, and Kootenai County. As citizens of this great nation, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our rights are enshrined in the United States and Idaho Constitutions, and I will fervently defend them. 

I will not use my position to expand the County’s control over what people can do. Not only do I believe in limited government, but I firmly believe that the County Commission already has its hands full trying to fulfill its existing duties competently and well. We have no business intruding into other matters. I will work tirelessly to promote individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of law.

As a candidate for Kootenai County Commissioner on May 21, 2024, I ask for the honor of your trust and support. Vote for John Padula, and together, we can build a brighter future for our families and community.