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Idaho GOP 2014 convention to stay in Moscow

MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho Republican Party leaders have decided to stick with their plans to gather in Moscow and the University of Idaho campus in June for the 2014 state convention.

The party’s state executive committee unanimously made the decision Wednesday, despite recent threats by top party officials to shop around for an alternative location.

Earlier this month, Barry Petersen, the chairman of the state’s dominant political party, clashed with Latah County GOP official Walter Steed, a dispute that put the Moscow location in jeopardy. Petersen said he was rebuffed by Steed when Petersen tried to speak during a monthly meeting of Latah County Republicans.

Steed subsequently apologized and offered to resign as chairman of the Latah GOP if it helped keep the state convention in Moscow.

But other GOP officials voiced concerns about higher costs associated with holding the convention in Moscow, specifically the rent charged for using the Kibbie Dome on the UI campus.

Ultimately, GOP leaders decided to support the decision made last January by the state central committee.

“We’re excited about going to Moscow, we’re excited about this new (community team) and I’m personally excited that (Kentucky U.S. Sen.) Rand Paul will be there,” said Leeann Callear, a member of the party’s executive committee. Steed said he intends to uphold his promise to resign as chairman, but is waiting for guarantees from GOP leadership.

“I’m still waiting to hear from someone,” he said. “I had no problem offering to resign, (but) I need assurances that this is the end of it.”

The Idaho Democratic Party also decided to hold its 2014 state convention in Moscow. It begins June 20, a week after the Republican convention.

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