IDGOP convention wraps up in Twin Falls

Stanley Rep. Dorothy Moon elected new state party chair
Stanley Rep. Dorothy Moon elected new state party chair
Stanley Rep. Dorothy Moon elected new state party chair(SK)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 3:35 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —The Idaho Republican Convention wrapped up in Twin Falls on Saturday, and during the three-day event, there was a mixed bag of emotions that happened.

About 700 delegates from across Idaho attended the event to discuss the party platform, rule changes, and adopt resolutions. It was reported the Idaho Republican Party would consider 31 resolutions, including one questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Stanley Rep. Dorothy Moon introduced a resolution about voter identification. She and others are advocates that government issued ID’s should be the only acceptable form of identification when registering to vote. She also had a second resolution pertaining to rank choice voting.

“I’m definitely against rank choice voting. Most conservatives are because it is one person one vote, and that situation with ranked choice there can be multiple votes by one person so that is something that I’m going to bring in as an amendment in the resolutions committee,” Moon said.

Ranked choice voting allows voters to rank candidates by preference on their ballots.

Additionally, Moon was also at the conventions to run for IDGOP chair. She was running against the current chair Tom Luna. . Moon said she feels there is a little bit of a disconnect between lawmakers and Idahoans.

“Our base is the most important, and they are really the Republican Party. When you have people in rural Idaho and urban cities that are definitely feeling the pain of high gas tax, high grocery sales tax, property tax is through the roof, and we are not getting accomplishment in the legislature,” said Moon. “... I think it’s important we are more responsive.”

After a lengthy roll call on Friday, the delegates were finally able to get down to some business and approve a resolution sponsored by Ada County delegate Branden Durst, pertaining to crossover for voting. The goal of it is to disqualify voters affiliated with other parties from registering as Republicans to vote in the party’s primary elections.

“This is a real thing. We had a county commissioner that was elected by crossover Democrats. This is something that actually happens, and we need to have a defense against it,” said Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chairman Brent Regan.

Another resolution was approved Saturday, relating to crossover voting, sponsored by Ada County delegate Matthew Jensen, to create a crossover voting special committee, made up of Republicans from across the state, to investigate how crossover voters are trying to influence the Republican party.

Additionally, on Friday, as Republican delegates were debating the proposed resolution on crossover voting, pro-choice supporters gathered outside. Later, as the delegates were leaving the College of Southern Idaho campus to head to a rally at the Twin Falls Fairgrounds, a couple of delegates got into altercations with the protesters. In one incident a young woman accused a delegate of assaulting her, but the delegate said a protester shoved a sign in his face and he was just trying to create space with no intention of assaulting anyone. The Twin Falls Police said there is a lot of “he said, she said” in the incident.

Southern Idaho’s Women’s Rights organizer Rylee Johnson said this was not the goal of their peaceful protest.

“You know anything...we want our voices heard. If someone comes out and talks to us that is great. That’s more us being heard and being able to communicate….being able to communicate in a nice peaceful way,” said Johnson. “We had someone come out. He was very nice. He just wanted to say a lot of the people in there(convention) don’t agree with it(Roe being overturned). They are on the fence about it.”

On the final day of the convention, Republicans held their election for state officers. Moon was elected the chairman of the Idaho State Republican Party. She beat out current chairman Luna, who set records for fundraising and registration of new Republican voters under his watch. However, some of the delegates, like Regan, felt it was time for a fresh voice, and someone who was willing to fight a little bit more for the party’s conservative values.

“We were once the bastion of liberty and freedom in this country. There are states that have surpassed us. We have to make sure that with the influx of population coming in and the democrats coming with us with full force that we have our barriers up, our guns are loaded, and ready to keep this state free,” Moon said.

Also on the last day updates were made to the party platform. Delegates reaffirmed language that the party opposes all abortions, supports the criminalization of all murders by abortion, and rejecting an amendment for an exception to save the life of the mother. Additionally, language was added to “strengthen” Idaho’s Constitution “declaration of the right to life for preborn children”. The amendment was sponsored by Scott Herndon of Bonner County.

The party platform also includes a new section, titled Children, saying the party believes a child’s biological gender to be an essential characteristic of a child’s identity and purpose. Furthermore, the party opposes any person, entity, or policy that attempts to confuse minors regarding their biological gender. It was sponsored by Nina Beesley from Legislative District 3.

Fourteen out of the 31 resolutions were approved, Including Moon’s voter ID resolution, and another one sponsored by her husband Darr Moon that municipal elections should be partisan. The one resolution sponsored by Sheila Ford out of Canyon County, citing that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president of the United states, did make it out of the resolutions committee.

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