BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) — Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Fred Cornforth is resigning from his role with the party on Friday, citing a medical condition, according to an email sent to the Democratic State Central Committee obtained by the Idaho Capital Sun.
Cornforth was elected to the position in March 2021, taking over the role after Van Beechler’s term was completed. Cornforth is the founder and chief executive officer of Community Development Inc., a nonprofit organization that specializes in affordable housing developments and other community centers.
“I am full of gratitude for all we’ve done together, and I’m frustrated that the fire burning inside of me to serve you and our fellow Idahoans, doesn’t have a clear direction right now,” Cornforth wrote in the email. “I do know this: the momentum that many of us have observed or have been a part of the last few years is strong and growing in every part of Idaho. The people in the Idaho Democratic Party today are bringing leadership and a commitment to our values as Idahoans to a state where it is long overdue. Keep being a part of the dramatic changes we are bringing to our communities and our party and our state.”
A public Facebook post from Cornforth says he has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
According to the party bylaws, a special election to fill Cornforth’s seat will be held March 12 at the regularly scheduled State Central Committee meeting. Deborah Silver, vice chair of the Idaho Democratic Party, will be acting chair until then, according to the email.
“The Idaho Democratic Party owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Chair Cornforth for his incredible leadership and the energy he has brought to our party in the past year,” Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Jared DeLoof said in a statement. “While he focuses on his health and his family, we will continue to work hard everyday to make Fred’s vision of a ‘better Idaho for everyone’ a reality.”
Idaho’s primary election will take place May 17, 2022, if Idaho’s redistricting process isn’t slowed by legal challenges, and the general election will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.
The deadline for candidates to file for statewide office is March 11.