BOISE — A proposed rule to implement changes for who can run on the Republican ticket failed to make it before the entire Idaho GOP Friday.
The proposal would have required those running as Republicans to obtain endorsements from their respective GOP committees. For statewide and United States’ offices, candidates would need approval from the State Central Committee, while local candidates would need an endorsement from their local GOP party.
Idaho GOP spokesman Jacob Miller tells EastIdahoNews.com the Idaho GOP Rules Committee unanimously voted no on the proposed rule change.
“Although, many members acknowledged the legitimacy of concerns regarding unaffiliated candidates and voters disingenuously interfering in the affairs of the party, ultimately, the committee concluded that the proposed rule change was too restrictive of a solution,” Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna said in a news release. “The Idaho Republican Party today reaffirmed its fundamental commitment to the principle that the selection of Republican nominees is best left to the wisdom of Republican voters.”
Bonneville County GOP Party State Committeeman Doyle Beck presented the proposal. Signing on with Beck for the rule change was Bonneville County GOP Chairman Mark Fuller, Legislative District 30 Chair Lisa Keller, Bonneville County State Youth Committee Person Myleah Keller, Bonneville County State Committee Woman Linn Hawkins and Legislative District Committee 33 Chair Bryan Zollinger.
A handful of legislators contacted EastIdahoNews.com in opposition to the proposal.
“I don’t think it’s wise for a small handful of people to determine who can be on the ballot or who can’t,” Sen. Doug Ricks, R-Rexburg, told EastIdahoNews.com Thursday. “I don’t think that’s good politics. I don’t think it’s good policy. I don’t think it fits the true Idaho conservative standing policy that many of us have grown up with.”
Beck felt the rule change would do just the opposite of taking away voting power from the majority.
“It gives more influence to the grassroots of the Republican Party (i.e. precinct committeeman),” Beck said Thursday. “It’s much easier for the populace to vote out unwanted precinct committeemen than it is the vote out an unwanted politician.”
With the rule not making it past the Idaho GOP Rules Committee, anyone eligible to run for office who is also a member of the Republican Party can still run under the GOP ticket.