Barry Peterson

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A judge ruled Tuesday that members of Idaho's Republican Party could go ahead with a meeting Saturday to choose a new leader. Last month’s contentious state GOP convention ended without finishing any of its business, including electing a new chairman.

Former chairman Barry Peterson maintained that meant he was still in charge. But district judge Randy Stoker ruled that Peterson is not the chairman, and the party doesn't currently have a leader.

Barry Peterson, Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Barry Peterson is no longer the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, that's the ruling from 5th District Judge Randy Stoker.

“His term has expired,” Stoker told the court.

The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls.

“This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak.” - Spokesman-Review

Idaho's GOP Leader Sues For Party Control

Jul 17, 2014
Barry Peterson, Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Republican Party infighting may be solved in court.

The leader of Idaho's Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against two members of his own party who called an Aug. 2 meeting of the GOP Central Committee after the group left its state convention without voting on a platform or new leaders.

Chairman Barry Peterson has called for an Aug. 9 meeting.

Idaho's GOP congressional leaders say state party leaders should meet Aug. 2 to determine who's in charge and achieve unity.

GOP Sen. Jim Risch and Rep. Mike Simpson issued a joint statement Tuesday saying that they that agree with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter that members should respect the date members have chosen to scrutinize their party leaders' qualifications.

Their announcement comes after weeks of division between far-right conservatives and establishment Republicans fighting over when the state central committee should meet this summer.

Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson has called for a special meeting to resolve the controversy surrounding the party's leadership.

According to a news release, the state central committee will meet Aug. 9. The committee will vote on a June 19 decision where Republican officials agreed that Peterson is the party's leader for another two-year term.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

An Idaho Republican Party advisory committee meeting turned combative Thursday while members discussed who held the chairmanship.

Factions inside the Idaho Republican Party have spent the past week fiercely debating who holds the seat ever since the chaotic GOP convention last week ended with no new chair elected.

After nearly two hours of yelling and talking over one another, the committee concluded that Chairman Barry Peterson's term was extended for another two years.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

A hardware store owner from Mountain Home is already getting to work in his new role as chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.  Barry Peterson was elected Saturday during the GOP convention in Twin Falls.  He takes over for Norm Semanko, who’s stepping down.