About James

James is a conservative with proven leadership ability who has lived in Idaho since he was 2 years old. He was educated by Idaho’s public school system, and moved to Ada county after graduating from Wood River High School. His parents are passionate educators who spent their careers teaching in the Blaine County School District.

James has spent the last ten years as an entrepreneur and small business owner. He got his start in freelance web design and online marketing and spent two years working on the marketing team at Bodybuilding.com in Boise. He then went full time with his own companies, including Upland Optics, which sells high quality sporting optics directly to hunters online. In total he has started four companies, bought two others, and sold three of them, generating millions of dollars for Idaho’s economy while creating local jobs.

While running his companies, James earned an A.A. and B.A. from Boise State University and a Master’s degree in Finance from Harvard’s Extension School. He was a member of the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program, completed BSU’s Venture College program, and earned national awards in Business Professionals of America.

Rugged western independence is something you can only develop through experience. James was raised an outdoorsman and has a deep connection to Idaho’s public lands. He spends every fall hunting deer and elk. His summers are spent backpacking and hiking (including summiting all nine of Idaho’s twelve thousand foot peaks). James is a dedicated athlete and has competed in everything from endurance racing to CrossFit to Olympic weightlifting.

James feels that having strong, consistent values is an important part of living a meaningful and impactful life. He is a life-long Christian and is a part of the Ten Mile Christian community. Faith is an important bedrock in his life.

James is excited and honored to have an opportunity to serve the people of Idaho, and is working hard for the residents of Meridian.

“Idaho needs leaders who will promote and defend our traditional values by backing the blue, upholding the constitution, challenging unneeded government intrusion in our lives, and above all keeping Idaho, Idaho. James Petzke, a native Idahoan with ten years of small business success, is the type of experienced and principled conservative that we need in our government. He has my full endorsement for House of Representatives seat 21A.” – Former Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter