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Eye On Boise

The politics of the day

It's apparently becoming fashionable in Idaho politics these days to call on elected GOP nominees who've won primary elections to drop out of the general-election race because they're not deemed Republican enough. First, the Idaho Republican Party at its state convention made such a call regarding longtime Ada County GOP elected official Vern Bisterfeldt, who won the primary in May for the Ada County commission, on which he'd long served earlier; Bisterfeldt is a current Boise city councilman who's dared to support some Democrats, even serving as campaign treasurer for Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick. Now, Brian Schad, an independent candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat, has put out a long and scathing "open letter" to six-term  2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson, accusing him of voting like a Democrat and calling on Simpson to drop out of the race, despite his strong victory in the GOP primary.

"I am asking you to voluntarily part ways with The House and come home to beautiful Idaho," Schad writes in his open letter. "For the good of the most conservative political state in the Union, Mr. Simpson, please step aside of the race and let others who keep the Constitutional tradition alive compete for your seat." Simpson won the GOP primary with 58.3 percent of the vote, despite facing three challengers.

Meanwhile, Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark has sent out a guest editorial inviting Idaho Republicans to leave their party, and take a look at his party's candidates this year instead. "If you are an independent, clear-thinking voter with a commitment to moderate, pragmatic and limited state government, the extremists now running the Idaho Republican Party are moving that party ever further away from you," Roark wrote. You can read his article here.

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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