Idaho Democratic Leader Says Republican Fighting Is Helping His Party

Jun 19, 2014

Idaho Democrats convene in Moscow this weekend.
Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Democrats meet this weekend in Moscow for their state party convention. It comes a week after the state’s Republican convention, which the Washington Post called “a total fiasco.” Factional infighting prevented Idaho’s dominant party from accomplishing anything on its convention agenda, including electing a party chairman.

Idaho Democratic Party chairman Larry Kenck says the GOP meltdown doesn’t change what will happen at his gathering. But Kenck says the ongoing fighting among Republicans is helping his party.

“A year and a half ago we set out to work on energizing Democrats throughout the state,” Kenck says. “[We] Got county organizations started where there hadn’t been county organizations before. Our numbers have really grown. There has been a complete groundswell of enthusiasm.”

Even if Democrats’ ranks are growing, the party still has a big numeric disadvantage. In the 2010 election for statewide offices, no Democrat won even 40 percent of votes. It will be difficult to leverage GOP dysfunction into election success. Kenck says Democrats should not make it appear as though they are trying to capitalize on the problems of the other party.

“That brings us down to a position of not showing anything different than what they already are doing," he says. “What we need to show and what we’re going to show to the voters of Idaho is that our candidates have the leadership skills and ability to bring people together.”

Kenck says Idaho Democrats need to show how different they are from the state’s Republicans, not so much in policy, but simply in getting things done as a group. Democrats' next chance to do that is by hosting an uneventful convention this weekend.

Find Reporter Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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