By Dorothy Moon, IDGOP Chairwoman
June 30, 2023
Title: Successful Idaho GOP Summer meeting in Challis Reflects Strong Grassroots Republican Support
The Idaho Republican Party held our Summer State Central Committee Meeting this past weekend in Challis and it proved to be an exceptional success. From the moment our members and guests arrived, they were greeted by the beautiful scenery of Challis, Idaho. Our host Custer County, and venue Living Waters Ranch, went above and beyond, extending their warmth and hospitality, and creating a sense of camaraderie that greatly enhanced the overall experience. From the food, to the lodging, to the fellowship, the energy on site was high the entire weekend. The positive feedback we received from both members and guests emphasizes the exceptional reception extended by the Challis community.
The weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with our Executive Committee meeting, and followed with our Rules and Resolutions Committee meetings, chaired by our Rules Chair Brent Regan and Resolutions Chair Christy Zito. We had many rules and resolutions to get through, but both committees were incredibly effective and able to complete their business in a timely manner.
Saturday morning we were excited to provide two well attended break-out sessions; Coffee with Cornel, a Parliamentarian training, and Donuts with Darr, a discussion on strategic minerals. Following breakfast and the break-out sessions, we began the general session, beginning with our State Party officer and affiliate organization reports and following with a presentation by Kootenai County to host our next convention. We are pleased to announce that Kootenai County’s bid to host the upcoming Summer Convention has been accepted, and our 2024 State Convention will be held in Coeur d’Alene in the summer of 2024!
The next item of business was addressing the Presidential nominating plan for 2024. Earlier this year, the Presidential primary was removed from Idaho state statute, leaving Idaho Republican voters with zero ability to vote for their preference in the 2024 Presidential contest. The members of the State Central Committee overwhelmingly voted to choose their delegates for the Republican National Convention’s Presidential Nominating contest through a caucus system. This vote moves Idaho into the early stages of the Republican Presidential nominating fight — allowing Idaho Republicans to vote fifth in the nation and before Super Tuesday.
A presidential caucus in March will compel presidential candidates to focus their attention, and spend some of their resources, here in Idaho. When candidates know that they need to win a state’s delegates, they spend more time and resources campaigning in that state and learning the issues that affect that state. This means more rallies, more town hall meetings, and more opportunities for voters to engage with the candidates and build momentum in the party. It also means more meals eaten in our restaurants, more nights booked in our hotels and motels, more advertising, print media, radio interviews and TV ads. It also means more time spent listening to our farmers, ranchers, miners, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to showcase Idaho’s economy.
Recognizing the importance of voter participation and accessibility, the State Central Committee also passed a resolution urging the legislature to reinstate the March presidential primary. In the event that the March Presidential primary is not restored, the Idaho Republican caucus will serve as our comprehensive plan to ensure a robust Presidential selection process.
At the meeting on Saturday, the state party announced the resignation of Mr. Damond Watkins, our National Committeeman, who has served in the position for 12 years. During his tenure, Mr. Watkin’s commitment to our shared Republican values and principles has made an impact on our organization and the wider Republican community. As we bid farewell to Mr. Watkins, we express our gratitude for his service and contributions over the years to the Idaho Republican Party.
Overall, the state party was able to address all of the rules and resolutions that passed through committee fairly quickly, allowing for the completion of pending business that had been carried over from the January meeting. The thoroughness with which matters were handled reflected the commitment of the Idaho GOP to efficiently govern the party’s affairs and address the concerns of its members. The responses the state party received from members further reinforces the resounding success of the meeting. Attendees expressed their satisfaction with the meeting’s organization, applauding the efforts put forth by our state party staff and volunteers.
This past weekend serves as a testament to the strong grassroots support for the Idaho GOP’s current trajectory and the party’s dedication to upholding conservative Republican values. The Idaho Republican Party reaffirmed our commitment to the Republican platform and the Idaho and U.S. Constitutions and the party’s vision for the future.