While protesters of Republican Sen. Chuck Winder's ultrasound bill gathered at the corners of Eighth and Jefferson streets, they were met with an announcement by Colleen Fellows with the Ada County Democrats.
"Sen. Winder has been redistricted into District 20," said Fellows. "Currently, he is unopposed, and will win re-election. That cannot happen."
Fellows then introduced the man who has stepped in to run against Winder for a district that covers much of the Meridian area, James Mace.
"This is a decision I made about 11 p.m. last night," said Mace. "I know what its like to sacrifice, I served in Iraq."
Mace holds the rank of Sgt. First Class, and obtained degrees from both the University of Phoenix and American Public University, schools he attended online with the GI bill. He's unmarried, 36 years old and graduated from Meridian High School in 1993. He is also a novelist and screenwriter.
"I got pretty mad about the arrogance of this bill. It takes a whole lot to get a bill, draft it, move it through committee. Why are we even debating this bill? This whole bill is useless," he said. "You don't need to be a woman to sympathize with their rights."
Their words were met with cheers from the group, mostly women, many of whom carried signs, which read, "Say no to Winder," or "Rape is not an 'issue,' rape is a crime."
"I am here to de-throne Chuck Winder," Mace told the crowd enthusiastically.
Because Mace missed the filing period, his candidacy will require 50 write-in votes in the upcoming May primary for him to appear on the general election ballot as a Democrat.