Idaho GOP chairman elected after party chaos

BOISE -- Idaho Republicans are hoping they can put months of political infighting behind them, now that they've elected a new chair for the Idaho GOP Central Committee, and other party officers.

That all happened at a series of special meetings, which wrapped up today in downtown Boise.

The party has been without leadership ever since the state's chaotic GOP convention adjourned without electing any officers or passing any new platforms.

Former Chairman Barry Peterson claimed that he would just stay Chair, essentially by default.

But just this week, a judge ruled that he was no longer in control.

Committee Members elected Steve Yates to be the new Chairman Saturday morning. He beat out Mike Duff of Blackfoot and Doug Pickett of Oakley for Chairmanship.

Yates is an Idaho Falls businessman and former aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney. He says he's honored to be elected, and wants to get the party back in order.

Yates also says he now wants to have some very honest conversations.

"I do hope to spend time traveling to different parts of the state, to listen to the unvarnished and honest views of people in various parts of the state," Yates said. "It's one thing to listen to people and talk with them when you're a candidate for a position. Now, I think that we might have a qualitatively different conversation. And, I want to listen first, before trying to give my views or pushing forward a new agenda."

Following the chaos of the past few months, Yates said, he hopes this is the last special meeting of this type the Idaho GOP has to have.


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