Will the GOP feud hurt some candidates?

BOISE -- The party that has completely dominated Idaho politics for years is now without a chairman.

Some have gone so far as to say there is a civil war happening within the Idaho Republican Party.

Barry Peterson is no longer the chair of the Idaho Republican Party. A Twin Falls District Judge ruled Tuesday that Peterson's term ended a month ago, despite the fact that Peterson sued to keep his seat in the GOP.

"I don't think that was much of a surprise that the party has no chair, that the rules provide that people don't just automatically remain in office," said KTVB political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby.

Weatherby says this is a big change, given the party's reputation in the state.

"That was one of the comments the judge made. I don't know exactly what it all entailed but he said, 'This is a party without direction at this point,' which is an interesting commentary on this party that over the years is so well known for being a very well-oiled, disciplined organization," said Weatherby. "Will this feud actually hurt some candidates? Are there some real openings for Democrats? Democrats certainly think so, in terms of running for the Governor's office and a few other state-wide races and a few legislative races."

Idaho GOP leaders will meet Saturday to vote on a new chairman.


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