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Good to see GOP support of Open Primary Initiative

September 13, 2023

I'm glad to see the long list of Republican supporters for the Open Primary Initiative. That underscores GOP or Government of the People. In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned of two grave dangers to the US. One was political parties having too much power (See Former Idaho Gov. Butch Otter endorses open primary ballot initiative).

When Dorothy Moon responded, “The blanket primary takes away your right to nominate your own candidates – just as BYU doesn’t get to decide who starts at quarterback for BSU, neither should Democrats get to vote on who represents the Republican Party in the general election,” she completely ignores the U.S. and the Idaho Constitutions. Political power is inherent in the people, not the party.

This came up in a recent conversation regarding the initiative. The current system shoehorns a voter into picking a political party over picking good candidates. A Republican with Libertarian leanings could find themself in a dilemma. Suppose an excellent Libertarian candidate is running for a specific office. Does one vote the Libertarian ticket and lose the right to vote for their choice of the Republicans running for other offices OR do they vote in the Republican primary and lose the ability to support a Libertarian candidate they like? The Open Primaries Initiative gives the voter a choice and that's a win-win.

And the other win-win? Healthy systems depend on a variety of inputs. Sometimes it’s that “other voice” that points the way toward solutions. The Open Primary Initiative will give unaffiliated/independent voters a voice in picking their politician.

Here's a full list of the Republican community leaders who endorsed the initiative today:

Butch Otter, former Idaho Governor and Congressman
Lori Otter, former First Lady of Idaho
Jack Riggs, former Senator and Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, Coeur d’Alene
Sandy Patano, former State Director for Senator Craig and Vice-Chair of State GOP
Chuck Coiner, former Senator from Twin Falls
Rob Williams III, Jerome attorney, recipient of Distinguished Lawyer Award
Jerry Evans, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Boise
Max Black, former Representative from Boise
Former Senator Denton Darrington from Declo
Gary Raney, former Ada County Sheriff
Eric Peterson, former Chairman of the Nez Perce County Republicans, Lewiston
Former Senator Laird Noh and Kathleen Noh, Twin Falls
Marge Chadderdon, former Representative from Coeur d’Alene
Dennis Hansen, former PUC Commissioner and Senator from Soda Springs
Chris Filios, former Kootenai County Commissioner
Lydia Justice Edwards, former Idaho State Treasurer
Former Senator Bill Ringert, Boise
Maxine Bell, former Representative and JFAC Co-Chair from Jerome
Former Senator Bert Brackett of Three Creek
Joe Stegner, former Senator from Lewiston
Billie Siddoway, former Teton County Prosecutor
George Eskridge, former Representative from Dover, current Dover Mayor
Former Representative Leon Smith and Jan Mittleider, Twin Falls
John A. “Bert” Stevenson, former Representative from Rupert
Former Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Bruce Newcomb
Gary Suppiger, owner of Panhandle Forest Products, Cocolalla
Marv Hagedorn, former Senator and Veterans Services Administrator
Greg and Ruth Gfeller, founding members of North Idaho Republicans
Former Ada County Sheriff Vaughn Killeen
Former Representative Rich Wills, Glenns Ferry
Deborah Rose, writer and educator, Coeur d’Alene
Former Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward
Decorated Vietnam veteran Leonard Crosby, Post Falls
Mary Crosby, founding member of North Idaho Republicans, Post Falls
Former Representative Jeff Nesset, Lewiston
Alice Hennessey, Boise businesswoman and philanthropist
Former Representative Beverly Montgomery, Meridian
Justin Oleson, Custer County Prosecuting Attorney
Doug Gross, Caldwell potato farmer
Celia Gould, former Director of the Idaho Department of Agriculture
John Barlow, retired Hagadone Corporate Executive
Rancher Craig Spencer and lawyer Jane Spencer, Grangeville
Terry and Diane Eastman, Kootenai County restaurateurs
Dwight Baker, long-time Blackfoot lawyer, former President of Idaho State Bar
Rich Stivers, Twin Falls businessman and Vietnam veteran
Steve Taggert, Idaho Falls lawyer and writer
Thorpe Orton, former Deputy Attorney General
Dan Chadwick, former Deputy Attorney General and Executive of Counties Association
Michele Chadwick, former Gem County Commissioner, Emmett
Jennifer and Shawn Ellis, Chesterfield ranchers
Barbara Schriber, artist and master potter, traditional Republican, Coeur d’Alene
Jim Patrick, former Senator from Twin Falls
Luke and Deb Russell, founding members of North Idaho Republicans
Steve Shake, writer and retired Canyon County educator for 31 years
Dr. Richard E. Ferguson, DDS, Boise periodontist
Ralph Nelson, Coeur d’Alene Certified Public Accountant
Tom Torgerson, Coeur d’Alene Realtor and founder of North Idaho Republicans
Hyrum Erickson, Rexburg lawyer and Republican Precinct Committeeman
Peter Erbland, Coeur d’Alene lawyer, former Deputy Attorney General
William F. “Bud” Yost and Joan Hill Yost, longtime Nampa Republicans
Dale Storer, Idaho Falls municipal law expert
Elmer “Rick” Currie, former Kootenai County Commissioner
Jim Coleman, Coeur d’Alene Civil Engineer, past member of Idaho Transportation Board
Caldwell lawyer and former Senator David Kerrick
Jerry Rigby, Rexburg water lawyer
Russ McLain, long-time Republican, Coeur d’Alene
Travis and Kassidy Telford, Blackfoot
Evalyn Adams, Former Kootenai County Commissioner
Chuck Kroll, former Washington County Prosecuting Attorney
Emmett ranchers David and Kelsey Little
Lonne and Laura Jordahl, founding members of North Idaho Republicans
Jim and Camille Cox, long-time Twin Falls Republicans
Ed Morse, businessman and former Representative from Hayden
Jim Kempton, former Representative from Albion and Chair of Idaho PUC
Former Senator John Goedde from Coeur d’Alene
John Holleran, former Boise Cascade General Counsel, Boise
Jared Lamson, former Mackay City Councilman
Robbi Berg, Certified Public Accountant in Hayden
Randy Budge, Pocatello water lawyer, Distinguished Lawyer Award recipient
Robert E. Farnam, Idaho Falls tax and estate attorney
Christopher Rich, former Ada County Clerk and Auditor, Boise
John Adams, Navy veteran and owner of Coeur d’Alene Tractor
Clark Kauffman, former Representative from Filer
John Young, President of Young Construction Group, Coeur d’Alene
Tod Shenton, former Clark County Commissioner
Marie Widmyer, owner of Marie's Boutique and Marmalade, Coeur d’Alene
Steve Widmyer, former Mayor of Coeur d’Alene
Steve Roberge, former Mayor of Dalton Gardens
Lora Whalen, former Director of Panhandle Health Department
Gerald Mitchell, former Payette County Commissioner, and Darcy Mitchell
Jim Faucher, Coeur d’Alene fundraising consultant
Pierce Clegg, former Kootenai County Sheriff
Terri White Goedde, founding member of North Idaho Republicans
Cheryl Miller, long-time Ada County Republican stalwart
Hank and Betsy Martin, Coeur d’Alene Rotarians
Marc Gibbs, former Representative from Grace
Lois Johnson, founding member of North Idaho Republicans, Coeur d’Alene
Attorney Evan Robertson and Roberta Robertson, Twin Falls
Christa Hazel, former Coeur d’Alene School Board Trustee
D. Duff McKee, retired Idaho District Judge
Wayne Kidwell, former Idaho Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice
Mary Ollie
Bonners Ferry

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