Idaho Republican Party

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

The state's top GOP leaders are preparing to gather in Idaho's most conservative region to elect a new party chair and amend key elements of their party’s platform.

The two-day Republican confab starts Friday, July 21 in Coeur d'Alene.

Jonathan Parker, the former executive Director of the Idaho GOP, is the leading candidate for party chairman. In addition to picking a new leader, the weekend’s agenda also includes voting on a resolution that would require Republican candidates to take a loyalty oath to abide by the party platform.

Idaho Statesman

The former head of the Idaho GOP, Steven Yates, plans to run for lieutenant governor. His campaign is planning to officially launch Tuesday.

Yates will be barnstorming across the state when he kicks off his campaign. He’ll start the day at the capitol in Boise, jet up to Coeur d’Alene for lunch and make a third stop in the east at the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Steve Yates has filed to run for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Yates filed the paperwork to run as a Republican candidate Thursday. Yates, an Idaho Falls businessman and former aid to Vice President Dick Cheney, took over as chair in 2014 during a chaotic battle over control of the party and resigned last month.

He joins a growing list of candidates vying for the seat after incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Little announced he would be running for governor in 2018.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Images

The state legislature wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, less than a week after leadership had hoped to adjourn.

The minority party went into this legislative session on its heels after losing four seats in the November election. Out of 105 House and Senate members, only 17 were Democrats.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Secretary of State's office says the Idaho Republican Party did not violate the state's campaign laws while creating a political attack ad against House Minority Leader John Rusche.

The decision refutes a complaint filed by the Idaho Democratic Party in October. Democratic officials alleged that Idaho Republican Party Executive Director David Johnston illegally coordinated with GOP candidate Mike Kingsley's campaign in creating a political attack ad against Rusche using funds from an independent expenditure.

All of Idaho’s legislative seats were up for grabs in Tuesday's election. The Legislature already leans heavily Republican and after votes were counted, it became even more so.

A handful of Democratic seats turned Republican. In some of those, long-time Democratic incumbents lost their seats. Other, formerly Democratic seats that were open, turned GOP.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Following news that the Idaho Republican Party had opened three field offices in traditional Democratic strongholds like Blaine County and that the GOP planned to open more, Democrats pointed out they'd also sent out operatives. Dean Ferguson with Idaho’s Democratic Party says state Democratic leaders started sending out field organizers in February and now have seven assigned in key legislative districts.

Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Idaho only has a handful of competitive legislative races in the upcoming general election, but party officials on both sides are prepping for heated battles in key legislative districts across the state.

The state's Republican Party recently announced the launch of field offices in Lewiston, Moscow and Blaine County, some of the most strongly Democratic places in this super-majority Republican state. 

Idaho GOP executive director David Johnston says there are parts of Idaho his party will win without much effort. But others, he says, will be a fight.

Andrew Dallos / Flickr Creative Commons

With just 90 days left until the general election, a new candidate has joined the race for president – in a last-minute challenge to Donald Trump. 

Forty-year-old Evan McMullin is a final hope for some conservatives unhappy with the GOP choice for president. The relatively unknown Republican has been a CIA operative, a House GOP adviser and worked for Goldman Sachs.

Boise State University

Thirty-two Idaho delegates are among those who kicked off the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Monday. The 20 Ted Cruz supporters and 12 Donald Trump delegates had a front row seat to the somewhat chaotic start to the event.

Another Idahoan in Cleveland this week is Corey Cook. Cook is the dean of Boise State University’s School of Public Service. It’s his sixth convention and our Scott Graf spoke with him about his expectations for the week.

Hear their Morning Edition conversation below. 

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Think of it as calling dibs.

Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little announced last week he's running for governor almost two-and-a-half years before the 2018 election. With incumbent Butch Otter likely not running again, the field for the GOP nomination might be crowded.

Long-time Idaho political analyst Jim Weatherby says by becoming the first candidate in the race, Little may be sending a message to Republicans who respect the party hierarchy that he is the heir-apparent.

Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill says a Republican House member secretly recorded a private conversation before the May primary election.

The Post Register reports in a story on Wednesday that Rep. Ron Nate, of Rexburg, declined to disclose the audio recording after the eastern Idaho newspaper sent him a public records request. Hill also declined to reveal the contents of the recording.

A Republican legislative candidate in northern Idaho says he is no longer running for a Senate seat after facing pressure from other GOP officials to pull out of the race.

John Freeland announced Tuesday he would no longer pursue challenging incumbent Sen. Dan Schmidt, a Democrat from Moscow, in the upcoming November election. He declined to comment further when contacted by The Associated Press.

Idaho Republican Party / Facebook

Faith, freedom, family and firearms will be the uniting theme this week as hundreds of GOP delegates travel to Nampa to discuss party platforms and elect Republican leaders.

The three-day convention starts on Thursday, just a few weeks after the May primary. Republicans are hoping for a smoother turnout than the chaotic 2014 convention, which failed to get anything done because of political infighting.

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday’s primary election in Idaho saw seven incumbent lawmakers lose their positions in the Legislature. It also whittled down the candidates vying for a seat on Idaho’s Supreme Court.

Many match-ups featured moderate Republicans against candidates from the far right wing of the party.

Reporter Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review writes the “Eye on Boise” blog and was among those watching the election closely.

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