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Eye On Boise

GOP leaders talk unity while awaiting results of divisive primary election

At the Idaho Republican Party's election-night watch party at the Riverside Hotel tonight, party Chairman Norm Semanko led off by introducing Gov. Butch Otter. There are very few election results in yet; just a smattering of numbers from a few counties. Otter talked about the race for the White House and California's problems - repeating his earlier comment that "if California were my horse, I'd shoot it, it is so sick," and forgot to introduce his wife, Lori. He also made no mention of the unprecedented divisiveness in the Idaho GOP this primary election season, saying only, "Let's bring this party together and go into November with victory on our minds and victory as our banner."

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna gave a campaign pitch for his "Students Come First" school reform laws, which are up for a referendum vote in November. "We know what's best for our children, and when we go to the polls in November we are going to vote yes ... to keep these laws," he told the GOP crowd.

Semanko said as party members await the results, "We want you to talk about what you're going to do this November to make sure all of our candidates win." And GOP Congressman Raul Labrador told the crowd, "We have the choice of supporting the candidates that win (the GOP primary), or we have the choice of shutting the heck up."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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