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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: larry grant

Grant to step down as Idaho Dems chair

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party is stepping down. Larry Grant announced this week this week that he won't seek another term, sending the state's minority party searching for a new leader. Grant was elected to the post in 2011 and in his announcement he touted his efforts to recruit an effective party staff and help field a cast of competitive candidates in the 2012 election. Grant says he didn't achieve all he set out to do, but he says he's proud of the accomplishments during his tenure. His term ends next month. The party will hold an election Feb. 23 during its state central committee meeting. Last year, Democrats held on to their 20 seats in the Idaho House and Senate and helped defeat a package of education laws approved in 2011.

Dems up their candidate numbers for Legislature

Idaho Democrats recruited more than 90 candidates to run for office this year, and there were nine contested Democratic primary contests across the state last month, Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant told his party's state convention today. Now, there are 82 Democratic candidates on the ballot for legislative seats.

“Some are placeholders,” Grant acknowledged. “You've got to have placeholders in these elections, because you never know when somebody is going to steal an RV and … crash it, or refuse to pay their taxes,” he said to laughter. But Grant said there are 60 Democratic legislative candidates “running honest, sincere and vigorous races across the state. … That's more candidates than anybody can remember in the state of Idaho … since the '60s.”

Boise State University political scientists Gary Moncrief said, “We've usually got about 40 to 50 seats that are uncontested, just doing the math; a lot of those that are contested are barely contested. So if in fact they're running 60 serious races, I would think that's higher than we've seen in some time.”

In 1990, when the Senate split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, there were more seats in the Legislature, at 126. Democrats only failed to compete in 30 of those races that year. In 1992, which was both a competitive time between the parties and, like this year, a redistricting year, which typically draws more candidates, the Dems left 31 of 105 seats uncontested. This year, according to records at the Idaho Secretary of State's office, Democrats were on the ballot for all but 28 of the seats in the Legislature in the primary, and five more Dems made the ballot as primary election write-ins, for a total of just 23 seats not contested by Democrats in November.

The Democrats begin debating their state party platform late this afternoon; tomorrow, they'll finalize the platform and elect delegates to the national party convention.

Grant: ‘Another Repub goes unpunished’

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant has issued a news release slamming the recent decision by Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower to forgo prosecuting former state Tax Commission Chairman Royce Chigbrow because statute of limitations had expired. “It is outrageous that Chigbrow won’t be called to account for his wrong doings,” Grant wrote. “If Republican leadership had acted when they first were told of concerns about Chigbrow’s behavior, maybe it wouldn’t have been too late to hold him accountable.  This is just another case of the Republican Party turning a blind eye to unethical, and in this case, criminal behavior.”

He pointed to recent ethics questions involving state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and state Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, and said, “It's time the Republican Party holds their leaders accountable.” You can read his full release here.

Grant calls on Loertscher to resign

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant is calling on House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, to resign from the Legislature, citing Loertscher's killing of a bill proposed by Idaho highway districts to require a public hearing before a public road is vacated, shortly before he filed a lawsuit seeking to declare a road on his land private. “Loertscher’s actions are highly suspicious,” Grant said.  “It certainly appears he has used his office for personal advantage.” House Speaker Lawerence Denney, who assigned the bill to Loertscher's committee at his request, rather than to the Transportation Committee, has declined thus far to call for an ethics committee to investigate the issue, though any House member may request one. Click below for the party's full news release.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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