Bonneville GOP Selects Nominees to Replace Senator Bart Davis

Bonneville GOP Legislative District sends nominees to replace Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis to Governor C.L. Butch Otter

Idaho Falls, Idaho, September 28, 2017 –
Republican Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis of Legislative District 33 was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the State of Idaho on September 22, 2017, creating a vacancy in the state Senate when Senator Davis resigned on September 21, 2017.
Davis is a 10-term state Senator from Idaho Falls with a private legal practice focusing on corporate litigation, bankruptcy and real estate law. He’s served as the state Senate majority leader for 15 years.
Davis was sworn in on Thursday as the state’s new U.S. Attorney in a ceremony in Pocatello. “I am humbled and honored to continue to serve the great people of Idaho as United States Attorney. I am grateful for the special trust and confidence shown me by President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, Senator Crapo, Senator Risch, and all of those who supported me throughout this process. I inherit a very capable office and look forward to joining them in continuing to do great things.” Davis said.
Legislative Chairman Stafford Smith said, “Seventeen individuals have the opportunity to participate in something monumental. We congratulate and thank Senator Davis and wish him the very best in his new assignment.”
Pursuant to Idaho State code and the Idaho State Republican Party State Rules, the Legislative District 33 Republican Committee has selected three nominees to fill this vacancy. Governor C.L. Butch Otter will appoint one of the following nominees within 15 days:
Mark Fuller
Representative Bryan Zollinger
Tony Potts
John Henager, Second Vice Chairman, said, “The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee was pleased to nominate Mark Fuller to replace outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis. We know Mark will serve the citizens of LD33 in the same principled, honest, and utterly capable manner with which he has approached so many local service and political projects. We look forward to Governor Otter’s swift confirmation.”
About The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee: The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee is a political entity created by Idaho statute that has 51 Precincts. Each precinct elects its Precinct Committee Officer, who votes on the platform and other topics at the County and State Party level.
Paid for by the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee- Morna Starks, Treasurer

Open Republican Primary: No Thanks. Been There, Done That.

Editorial by Bryan Smith, 1st Vice Chair, BCRCC

In a recent house editorial, Katie Stokes urged the Idaho Legislature to “re-open the Republican primary.”  An Idaho history lesson is in order for Mrs. Stokes, who moved to Idaho a few years ago from New York after Corey Taule left for greener pastures.

For many years before 2008, the law in Idaho was that the Republican primary was open.  Republicans, Democrats, and those from the Libertarian and Constitutional parties could help pick Republican nominees to run in the general election against nominees from the Democrat, Libertarian or Constitutional Parties.

For years, the Idaho Republican Party had tried without success to get the Republican controlled house and senate, the Republican Governor, and the Republican Secretary of State to close the Republican primary so that only Republicans could pick their Republican nominees in the general election.

I asked then Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, affectionately known as “Big Ben,” why Republicans would want “other teams” picking our team for the general election.  Big Ben said something to the effect that an open primary allows as many people as possible to participate in the voting process.

I remember thinking, “if it’s the goal to get as many people as possible to participate in the voting process, why don’t we just let felons, children, and noncitizens vote—after all, that will get more people participating in the voting process.”  Big Ben could never give me an answer that calmed my concerns about the government requiring the Republican Party to allow people from other parties to help pick Republican nominees for the general election.

In 2008, the Republican Party filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that Idaho’s open primary law violated the Republican Party’s First Amendment right of “Freedom of Association” under the United States Constitution.  Freedom of Association is the right of the people to come together with other people without government interference.  And inherent in the right to associate is the right to disassociate with people you don’t want to associate with.  Think about it–I doubt Mormons want the government telling them they must allow Catholics to help pick the Mormon Prophet any more than Catholics want the government telling them they must allow Mormons to help pick the Catholic Pope.

Judge Lynn Winmill ruled in favor of the Republican Party that Idaho’s open primary violated the Republican Party’s right of Freedom of Association.  In other words, the open primary law that forced Republicans to associate with non-Republicans was, in a word, unconstitutional.  So, when someone urges the Idaho legislature to re-open the Republican primary, she is really urging the violation of the constitutional rights of all republicans across the state.  No thanks.  Been there, done that.