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Politics & Government
The Republican Party has dominated Idaho politics for most of its history. In fact, it's one of the reddest states in the country. But it hasn't always been that way.Twenty years ago, Idaho had a Democratic governor. More recently, Idaho had a Democrat in Congress. Today, Republicans hold each of Idaho's top statewide elected offices, and a wide majority in the Legislature.So, how did Republicans get to be so firmly in control of Idaho politics today? We examine the events and issues that led to one-party control of Idaho.

Maryland Transplant Steve Yates Elected Idaho's Republican Party Leader

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Melissa Davlin
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Idaho Public Television

Idaho Republicans have concluded months of political infighting over who should control the party and have elected Steve Yates to be the new leader of the state's GOP.

The state's central committee, which serves as the party's governing body, met Saturday in Boise to elect new party officers. The party has been without leadership ever since the state's chaotic GOP convention adjourned without electing any officers or passing any new platforms.

Yates is an Idaho Falls businessman and former aide to former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Yates moved to Idaho from Maryland three years ago.

Yates was voted in by a secret ballot. He ran against Mike Duff of Blackfoot and Doug Pickett of Oakley.

Yates says he knows he’s taking over the party at a volatile time, and thinks it may be a good thing he’s new to the state.

"I have not been in Idaho long enough to have enemies," he says. "So, we will learn quickly what kind of person I am and how I try and deal with people."