About Us

Our History

Republican women clubs began to form in the early 1900s, following a concerted effort on the part of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, the first woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court, visited the Western part of the country at the request of the RNC Chairman. She talked to women about getting involved in Republican politics. D. Minnie Howard of Pocatello accompanied her. In August of 1904, they called a meeting of Republican Women in Idaho and elected officers. This formed the first club of women voters in the State.

The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) was founded in Chicago in 1938. Idaho’s terrain made if difficult to maintain contact among clubs. Therefore, Idaho did not have enough fully organized clubs to make it possible to be federated until after 1943. The Nez Perce County Republican Women’s Club was established on April 29, 1943 and then the Idaho Federation of Republican Women (IFRW) was founded in 1944. Hazel Stone Shook, of Lewiston, was the IFRW founding President. She was a native of Pocatello.

The IFRW currently has two districts and 18 clubs.

Click here to view the history of the IFRW and click here to view the past list of IFRW Presidents.

Janalee Woolf
A native of Preston, Idaho, Janalee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Utah State University and an Associate Degree in Humanities from Ricks College. Her Idaho roots run deep including several that go back to the late 1800s. Janalee currently works part-time at the St. Luke’s Health Foundation. Previously, she worked for six years at the West Ada School district working at Ustick Elementary where her three children attended. She served as the Ada County Republican Women’s president from February 2015 to November 2018. Janalee also served as the 1st Vice Chair of the Ada County Republican Women’s club from December 2014 to February 2015. She also worked alongside her husband, Idaho State Controller Brandon Woolf, as a campaign manager in his four successful statewide elections. Janalee was nominated and elected to be the 1st Vice Chair of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women on September 2018. Then with a vacancy in the President position in March 2019, Janalee was nominated and elected to serve as the President of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women by the executive committee. Besides her service in the Republican Party, Janalee has volunteered for many community organizations including St. Luke’s Women’s Celebration, Race for the Cure, Special Olympics 2009 World Winter Games; West Ada School District - PTO president for Ustick Elementary for two years, and as a church youth leader. Janalee and her husband, Brandon, have three children (Brittney, Justin, and Bailey) and enjoy spending time together.
Cindy Jesinger
1st Vice President
Cindy and her husband, Rick live in Blaine County where Cindy is currently the LD 6 Chair, before serving as the chair Cindy served as the LD 6 secretary for 6 years. Cindy has been honored at the Idaho Republican Women Tribute to Women Breakfast and also awarded the Outstanding Republican Worker award from the Idaho GOP. If you have ever attended a Republican event in Idaho you have probably seen Cindy there with her camera, she is known as the photographer for most conventions, meetings, and events for the past 6 years.
Cindy also has worked as the Executive Director for the U.S. Congressional Award Council in Idaho where she worked with the offices of Senator Larry Craig, Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman Bill Sali, She has also worked as a business manager and most importantly a mother and community volunteer.
Some of Cindy’s volunteer work includes: Serve Idaho: Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism (2008 - 2014) Wood River Valley Local Emergency Planning Committee (2005 - Present) Special Olympics (2009 & 2014) Boy Scouts of America (1991 - Present) Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council (1997 - Present) United States Congressional Award (2005 - Present) American Red Cross (2003 - 2005)
Other Honors and Awards Cindy has received are: National Inspiration Award, U.S. Congressional Award Advisor of the Year, Congressional Award Council of Idaho Silver Beaver, Boy Scouts of America Snake River Council Outstanding Volunteer, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council Service Unit #21 First Lady’s Choice - Governor’s Brightest Star for Castle Rock Fire Ketchum/Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Award (4000+ hours)
Tracey Wasden
2nd Vice President

Tracey Wasden has been a Conservative Republican since the age of 12.  She remembers coming home from school and announcing that she was a Republican which was interesting growing up in Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho.  Tracey attended Idaho Girls State and graduated from Wood River High School in Hailey.  She graduated from Ricks College with a Pre-law degree in 1980 and served as an intern in the Idaho State Legislature. Tracey and  Lawrence were married that same year.  They both graduated from BYU in 1982 with degrees in Political Science and moved to Moscow for Lawrence to attend law school at the University of Idaho.  After graduation, Tracey and Lawrence moved their young family to Caldwell where  Lawrence worked as a Canyon County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney andTracey helped Lawrence run for precinct committeeman.  Lawrence went on to be the Canyon County Central Committee Chairman and later ran for and elected Attorney General.  Tracey successfully ran each of his campaigns.  Tracey has successfully run 10 statewide campaigns and, as well as providing advice and assistance to other statewide campaigns.  She was awarded the Canyon County Outstanding Republican of the year award in 2018.  Tracey is currently the Canyon County Republican Women’s President and the 2nd Vice President of the state Republican Women.  She works hard to help elect good republicans around this great state. Tracey is the mother of 4 wonderful children and the grandmother of 10 amazing little people.  

Linsy Heiner

Linsy was raised in Southeastern Idaho and graduated from Madison High School. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accounting from Brigham Young University.

Linsy interned with the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. She then worked as a Tax Consultant for Grant Thornton LLP. She currently works as a Social Media Manager. During the 2018 Idaho Gubernatorial primary election, Linsy worked as a Field Organizer for the Tommy for Idaho campaign. 

Linsy lives with her husband and four sweet kids in Meridian, Idaho. She loves Idaho and is excited to be serving as the Idaho Federation of Republican Women Secretary.

Kay Bradford
My husband and I are both retired. We owned 3 video stores for 25 years and it was great fun. I served on both the Idaho Board and National Board of Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA). We are both now into shooting sports which keeps us active and out of the house.

I have been Treasurer for Canyon County RW - Tuesday Club since 2001 and IFRW Treasurer since 2011. I am the Auction Chair for Canyon County’s Lincoln Day and Roundup Events. In 2010, I was honored being presented with Canyon County’s “Outstanding Republican” award. In 2012, Governor Otter appointed me to the Idaho State Board of Accountancy for a 5 year term. I received the 2016 IRP Outstanding Republican Worker Hall of Fame Award. 

I am a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Darlene Simpson
1st District Co-Director
Darlene is a self employed independent contractor with Signature HomeStyles (48 years)and Tupperware (8 years). She also does taxes during tax season. Born in Indiana to a Republican family, she has lived in Lewiston since 1956. Her Grandfather was County Chairman of the Shelby County Republican party in Indiana until his death.
Her husband Paul, of almost 50 years, was involved in Republican politics ans she became involved with the Nez Perce County Republican Women's Club as their Treasurer and Secretary. She has been President since January 2017 and is also the IFRW 1st Congressional Director.
Theresa Bradford
1st District Co-Director
Theresa Bradford has been a member of IFRW since 2012. She is currently the secretary for Canyon County Republican Women and 2018-2020 IFRW Co-Director for the 1st Congressional District. Theresa works alongside her husband, Gunner, in their heavy construction contracting company overseeing the administrative functions of company operations (though she has been seen operating a dump trucks and excavators from time to time). Theresa is also the proprietor of a woman-owned business located in Middleton, ID, and a newly formed mobile food vending company called Treasure Valley Treats, as well. In 2014, Theresa was appointed by Gov. Butch Otter and is currently serving as chairman for the Idaho Driving Businesses Licensing Board. She is also a trustee for Middleton United Substance Abuse Coalition, a former treasurer for the Middleton Area Optimist Club and former logistics committee chair for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life. Theresa lives with her husband of 37 years, Gunner, in Canyon county, just north of Middleton. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Maxine Bell
2nd District Co-Director

Maxine Bell began what would become a lengthly career in the politics as a precinct committeeman. She served for ten years in a job she loved, handing pamphlets out at parades and the county fairs, visiting about issues , and getting the citizens out to vote,were activities she felt were important to our state. She decided to run for a district office in 1988 and won the first of what would be Fifteen terms. The first term was an opportunity to learn the process and come to love it. There were no offices so much time was spent on the floor desk phone fielding questions from home. In fact, she had no morning committee to attend either. That slow pace would change when she was appointed to JFAC in her second term. That began twenty eight years of serving as one of the budget watchdogs over the hard earned taxes the citizens pay for state services. Prior to the public service, Maxine served the state and American Farm Bureau with many opportunities to visit farm women in foreign countries and help their efforts to have a voice in the political process. Maxine and Jack are retired row-crop farmers. They have one son, Jeff who lives in Idaho Falls, and three grown grandchildren and spouses scattered across the United States. 

Farhana Hibbert
2nd District Co-Director

Farhana Hibbert is the regional director for Senator Mike Crapo. She lives in Pocatello with her husband Monte and their six children. She was honored as the 2016 Parent of the Year at the National Head Start Conference.

She served as the publisher of IDAHO Unido, the only certified minority-owned, woman-owned newspaper publication in the state, for 16 years. Hibbert was the winner of the U.S. West New Ventures Seed Money Competition in 1997 and the 2003 Hispanic Media Awards.

Farhana was appointed by the Governor to Serve Idaho: the Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism. She is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership at Idaho State University, and serves as the President of the ISU College Republicans.

Kelly Packer
Immediate Past President

Kelley was raised to be a citizen and not just a resident. She loves being involved and is excited to be the IFRW's current President. Kelley graduated from Marsh Valley High School and earned her Associate of Arts in Business Management, as a Deans List member, from American Intercontinental University. Her and her husband are small business owners in Southeast, Idaho. Kelley has served on the McCammon City Council (2008-2012), founded and served on McCammon Beautification Committee (2003-2004), served as the Bannock County GOP Chair (2010-2012), was the founder & President of Marsh Valley Education Foundation (2011-2012), & has served as a Representative in the Idaho House (2013-2018). During her time in the Idaho House, she served on the State Affairs Committee, the Judiciary and Rules Committee, the Transportation & Defense committee, Commerce & Human Resources committee, and as Vice-chair of the Health & Welfare committee. She was awarded the 2016 Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho’s Legislator of the Year Award, served on the Your Health