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Proposed Idaho GOP rule change would impact who could run as a Republican


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IDAHO FALLS — A push from a handful of Idaho GOP members could implement changes for who can run on the Republican ticket.

A proposed rule change before the Idaho Republican Party would require those running as Republicans to obtain endorsements by 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.

Currently, anyone eligible to run for office who is also a member of the Republican Party can run under the GOP ticket.

“It’s needed because the Democrats have vowed to openly continue infiltrating the party so as to elect the most Democrat candidates as our party nominees,” Bonneville County GOP Party State Committeeman Doyle Beck said in a written statement to “This unethical practice is now promoted by our faithful RINOs. Can you think of anything more dishonest than Utah State misrepresenting themselves and being allowed to select the starting lineup for BYU?”

The term “RINO” is an acronym for “Republican In Name Only.” Beck will present the proposed rule change at this weekend’s Idaho GOP State Central Committee Winter Meeting in Boise for consideration and possible acceptance.

Not everyone is on board with the proposed rule. This week, several state legislators reached out to to voice 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, said. “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 argues the proposed rule change does just the opposite of taking away the power from the majority.

“It gives more influence to the grassroots of the Republican Party (i.e. precinct committeeman),” Beck said. “It’s much easier for the populace to vote out unwanted precinct committeemen than it is the vote out an unwanted politician.”


Ricks said if the rule passes, it could have far-reaching effects, including the governor and the attorney general races. He said if a committee decided Gov. Brad Little is not Republican enough, he could be off the ballot before the general public votes.

“It would significantly screen out who has the right to run as a Republican,” Ricks said. “If your vision of Republican politics aligns with whatever the makeup is of the particular committee, then you’re in good shape, but if you are looked at as an outsider or they think you’re not following along the same policies as they do, then you’re out without even a regular vote.”

Signing on with Beck for the rule change is 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.

“It’s honest and it’s freer because it gives the Republican populous a more Republic grassroots influence,” Beck said.

Tom Luna, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, issued a statement regarding the proposed rule change. He stated there have been some misconceptions spread about the proposal.

“On Nov. 11, 2021, the Bonneville County Central Committee adopted a proposed rule change to submit to the State Central Committee,” Luna said. “Any member of the State Central Committee may propose a rule change through their county central committee to be reviewed by the Idaho Republican State Central Committee. Upon submission, the Rules Committee will consider, debate, and vote upon the proposed change. If the rule passes the standing Rules Committee, the rule is then considered, debated and voted upon by the full body of the State Central Committee.”

He went on to say many rules are submitted to the State Central Committee and some pass while others fail.

“The issue at hand is that many people are assuming that the rule has passed when it has not,” he said. “Furthermore, some people are speculating on who is supporting this rule and why they are proposing this change. I encourage all interested parties to contact the actual sponsors of the rule to clarify the intention of their proposed rule change.”