Idaho GOP Leaders Call Competing Meetings In Fight Over Leadership

Jun 24, 2014


The Idaho Republican Party infighting that bogged down the state convention 10 days ago, continues to spill over into the summer as groups have now called two separate meetings to address the ongoing issue of party leadership.

Leadership has been in question ever since delegates to the convention adjourned without voting on the position of party chairman.

Chairman Barry Peterson's supporters say that means he's still the party's leader. Others interpret the lack of a vote to mean the position is vacant.  

At least three attorneys representing the state party, the national GOP, and Peterson, have all weighed in on the battle.

The state party announced Monday morning it would host a meeting August 9. Party chairman Barry Peterson said he was calling a special meeting of the state's central committee so members can be presented with the findings of the Idaho Republican Party Standing Rules Committee. That group met last week and determined Peterson is still the party chairman, even after delegates at the recent party convention failed to vote on a chairman.

By late Monday afternoon, the vice chairman of the party's central committee called for a separate meeting of that body August 2. Mike Mathews says Idaho's ruling party is without a chairman and the state needs to pick a new one before sending delegates to the Republican Party's national meeting in August.

"It is important that the Idaho Republican Party fill the vacancy in its Chairmanship before the upcoming national Republican Nation [sic] Committee meetings in August," Mathews writes. "The RNC has declared Idaho's Chairmanship vacant and will not seat anyone as Idaho Chairman unless they are duly elected by the State GOP Central Committee."

But in a press release, Peterson says the issue has already been resolved.   

"On Saturday, June 14th delegates of the convention voted that the party officers would remain in office until the next election," Peterson writes in a press release. "Chairman Barry Peterson, 1st Vice Chair Mike Matthews, 2nd Vice Chair Todd Hatfield, Secretary Marla Lawson, and Treasurer Chris Harriman, were all re-elected to those positions to serve until the next convention election regularly scheduled for June or July of 2016."

Peterson says the officer elections were compliant with state party rules.

Mathews says the August 2 meeting will be in Boise. Peterson says a location for the August 9 meeting will be determined later.  

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