Former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has been elected chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.
Labrador on Saturday defeated former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna 111-109.
The chairman is responsible primarily for overseeing the party’s goals of electing Republicans and developing a political game plan for elections.
“Let’s go ahead and fight when we have these internal battles,” Labrador said. “Let’s go ahead and fight in our primaries. Let’s go ahead and fight when we’re trying to pick (a) party chair. But when the decision is made, let’s stand together as a party. Let’s stand united and let’s do the things that are necessary to defeat the real enemy, which is the bad ideas of the other side.”
Labrador said that more people are moving to Idaho and possibly bringing different views.
“You see what’s happening on that national stage, and that stage is moving to the state of Idaho,” he said.
Labrador was elected congressman in 2010. He left that position to run for Idaho governor in 2018 but lost to now-Gov. Brad Little in the Republican primary.
Republicans hold all statewide elected offices, and also have supermajorities in the House and Senate.
The state Republican Party on Saturday also voted to reject a proposal that would have set up a way for the party to remove its endorsement of a sitting lawmaker for consistently opposing the party’s platform.
Former Chairman Jonathan Parker stepped down in February, and his wife filed for divorce in March.
Parker in May was charged with first-degree stalking. Parker’s attorney has said it was a misunderstanding.
Jennifer Locke had been the party’s acting chairwoman but said she wasn’t seeking the job permanently.