In the congressional fundraising horse race, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says he outraised challenger Bryan Smith nearly four-to-one in 2013's final quarter.

Smith announced Thursday that he raised $111,066 in the fourth quarter. The money will go to his GOP primary election bid against Simpson, with the vote on May 20.

Meanwhile, Simpson says he brought in $430,000.

In total, Simpson says he raised more than $1.25 million in 2013, with Smith raking in $525,000, including his own money, since joining the race in June.

Idaho Legislature

Update, 4:30 p.m.: Some Republican leaders in Boise have drafted a resolution calling for Rep. Mark Patterson's resignation and may meet on the matter next Tuesday.

Officials in District 15, which Patterson represents, say they're still mulling plans to discuss Patterson's future. Dan Luker, District 15's secretary, said the situation remains "fluid" and that no meeting agenda has been finalized.

The Idaho Democrats' choice to run for governor was listed as a Republican five years ago.

In 2008, Anthony Joseph "A.J." Balukoff was named as a Republican backer of then-U.S. House candidate Walt Minnick.

Balukoff was among 60 "Republicans for Minnick" during the Democrat's successful run against Bill Sali.

In an August 2008 e-mail from Minnick's campaign, Balukoff topped a group that had "supported the Republican Party with time, with money and with votes. And we will continue to do so in this election and in elections to come," according to the message.

Idaho U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's bid for a ninth term got an assist Monday when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney released an endorsement letter.

Simpson faces challenger Bryan Smith in next May's Republican primary election.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, lauded Simpson as a "stalwart conservative leader," accusing what he called "outside" groups of interfering in the race by backing Smith.

Smith has won the conservative group Club for Growth's support in his bid to unseat Simpson.

A group in north Idaho says they’re tired of the Democrat versus Republican national drama.

Democrats, Donkey, Politics
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Democrats in Idaho are hoping to breathe new life into the party in this overwhelmingly Republican state. Party leaders are hitting the road with an appeal to Latino, gay and lesbian, and female voters.

The head of the Idaho Republican Party is stepping down. 

Joshua Whitworth took over the role about a year ago when then Executive Director Jonathan Parker left to work at the law firm of Holland and Hart. Whitworth came to the Republican party as a former Idaho State University football player and a cattle rancher. He took on the role in July of 2012.

Wednesday the party announced Whitworth was leaving to take a job with the Idaho State Controller's Office.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Republican Party leaders are urging the Idaho Legislature to put a stop to local communities' efforts to provide discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. 

The approval of the non-binding resolution came Saturday at the GOP's annual Central Committee summer meeting in McCall.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

The Republican Party Central Committee rejected a plan Saturday that would ask party officials to vet GOP primary election candidates. The group met in McCall Saturday. 

The plan came from former Senate Majority Leader Rod Beck, as a way to pressure GOP candidates into adhering more to the wishes of their local party leaders.

But dozens of other Republicans including House Speaker Scott Bedke, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs objected to it.

The Idaho Republican Party’s state central committee will meet in McCall Saturday. Members will talk about possible rule changes and resolutions. One topic up for discussion: the committee will take a closer look at six cities which have passed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) protections.

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

After months of self-examination following last year's election losses, the Republican National Committee released a self-assessment this week.  The R-N-C issued a 100-page report that outlines dozens of recommendations to make the GOP a more welcoming and inclusive party.

The report says Republicans "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," and reach out to Hispanics.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador joined the GOP's biggest stars Thursday morning as thousands of conservatives and tea party activists gather near Washington DC.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, offers Republican leaders a high-profile stage to talk about issues, including immigration.

Labrador told CPAC members that conservatives need a grander vision for immigration reform.  He laid out a three-point plan.

Mallory Benedict/PBS Newshour / Flickr

Thirty-two Idaho delegates are in Tampa this week for the Republican National Convention.  The list includes some well-known names, like Governor Butch Otter, U.S. Senator Jim Risch and former State Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko.  Delegates are hosted at parties and attend special meals put on by interest groups.  But it’s not all fun and games.  David Adler directs the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State.

Samantha Wright asked Adler about what it means to be selected as a delegate.

Gabe Green / Coeur d'Alene Press

The Republican National Convention got underway Monday in Tampa. 

Sixty-one delegates from Idaho are there.  Thirty-two are actual delegates, while the rest serve as alternates. Ruthie Johnson of Hayden Lake is among the delegates.  She went to her first GOP convention in 1964.  She’s been to every single one since.  At the age of 88, the Tampa event is her 13th convention.

Rift In Deep Red Idaho Reveals Dueling Factions In GOP

Aug 24, 2012
Duane Rasmussen

Republicans meet next week in Tampa, Florida to officially nominate Mitt Romney as the party’s 2012 presidential candidate. But in one of the reddest counties in the Northwest- Kootenai County, Idaho - a public rift is pulling apart the GOP – exposing factions Republicans are struggling to unite across the nation.

There’s one event every year in Coeur d’Alene where the local Republican Party can really shine in spectacular, patriotic fashion:  The Fourth of July parade.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

A hardware store owner from Mountain Home is already getting to work in his new role as chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.  Barry Peterson was elected Saturday during the GOP convention in Twin Falls.  He takes over for Norm Semanko, who’s stepping down.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A week after Idaho Democrats met for their annual convention in Boise, Republicans will start theirs’ today in Twin Falls.   The GOP will conduct three days of meetings that’ll result in the election of new leadership, the outlining of party rules, and the selection of delegates to the national convention in Tampa. 

It’s been a busy year for Idaho Republicans.  They held a presidential caucus in March.  In May, they held a closed primary. 

Idaho Democratic Party

The Idaho Democratic Party starts its state convention Thursday in Boise. 

Idahoans will know this week if the state’s primary elections did in fact set a new record low turnout.   

One day after the May 15th primary, Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said 23% of registered voters cast ballots.  Ysursa will be among those who’ll certify election results tomorrow. If that 23% figure holds, it would be the lowest turnout ever recorded for an Idaho primary.     

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday's primaries in Idaho mark the beginning of a new way of voting in the state. The Republican Party closed its primary. That means voters must declare their political affiliation before they can cast a ballot.  Scott Ki visited polling sites in Boise and Meridian to find out how today's primaries are going. 

There aren’t many voters coming out to cast ballots in the state’s first closed primary.  Phil Mcgrane, Chief Deputy of the Ada County Clerk's Office says, "The one big thing of note is that turn out seems to be low."

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

So you’re planning to vote in a Primary on Tuesday.  Here’s what you need to know: 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Now that the Idaho Republican Party has opted for a closed primary, voters will encounter some big changes at the polling booth.  Elections officials are trying to explain the new format to the public, and prepare workers for questions on voting day.  Lots of questions. 

Helen Robins is gearing up for Election Day.  She’s petite, energetic, and she laughs a lot.  She’s been a poll worker and a Chief Judge, that’s the person in charge at a precinct.  “I think I’ve seen it all…”

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

When you vote in the primary next Tuesday, you must, for the first time, register for a political party.  That’s after the Idaho Republican Party sued the state for the right to close its primary.  The GOP argued party faithful, not crossover Democrats, should pick Republican candidates.