Former Idaho Republican Party chairs Tom Luna of Caldwell and Trent Clark of Soda Springs formally warned Chairwoman Dorothy Moon and her party allies of growing discontent among Idaho’s nearly 700,000 Republicans. “Without immediate course correction, decades of grassroots party-building will be lost,” they warned. “Failure to act now will force a statewide campaign to replace current leadership.”
Leading the contention has been Chairwoman Moon’s fixation on a caucus instead of rescuing Idaho’s historic presidential primary.
“A caucus will exclude nine out of ten Idaho Republicans from voting for the next Republican nominee for President ” Clark and Luna observed, noting that, even with six candidates filing, filing fees will not cover the estimated $500,000 caucus cost. “Every dollar spent on the caucus is one dollar not spent on electing Republicans in Idaho.
“Also, caucuses force voters to show up at a specific time and place in person. This excludes our brave men and women of the armed forces serving away from home, heroes the Republican Party and President Trump have vowed not to exclude from our self-government.”
They shared additional apprehension over growing elitism within party ranks.
“Party officials who were elected by and should serve the voters, are instead disregarding their choices and defeating their intent,” they wrote.
Specific concern was raised over counties and districts abandoning neutrality in primaries, holding platform compliance tribunals, imposing “donate or you can’t vote” rules, and removing the vote of women and youth groups on the statewide team responsible for party success.”
Luna and Clark warned, “We have veered significantly from the inclusive big tent party envisioned by Ronald Reagan. Chairwoman Moon’s party has instead become synonymous with purges, division, and expulsions. For decades, Idahoans have placed trust, time and resources into building one of the nation’s strongest state Republican organizations. That trust can’t be taken for granted.”
They stressed the urgency of action to preserve hard-earned voter confidence if the Party is to expect a successful 2024 election cycle.