The Constitution Party of Idaho says it’s hoping to have multiple candidates competing in Idaho’s March presidential primary, and already has seen one of its party’s hopefuls, the Rev. Scott Copeland of Weatherford, Texas, come to Idaho to campaign, making a swing from Coeur d’Alene to Twin Falls in May. “Several other candidates have expressed interest,” said state party Chairman Floyd Whitley of Coeur d’Alene, though none of them have yet visited the Gem State to campaign.
Whitley said the Constitution Party has more than 2,000 registered voters in Idaho. The winner of its presidential primary will get all of Idaho’s delegates to the national Constitution Party convention in Salt Lake City in April of 2016. However, it’s the party’s state convention that certifies the national ticket to the Idaho Secretary of State for placement on the November 2016 ballot. That means the Constitution Party of Idaho “will not necessarily be bound to a presidential nominee of the national party, should that nominee elect NOT to participate in the March 8, 2016 Idaho Presidential Primary,” Whitley said.
If that’s not enough incentive to get the party’s presidential hopefuls to compete in Idaho, Whitley said the party also is hoping to organize a Constitution Party presidential debate in Boise in February of 2016. The deadline for candidates to file in Idaho is Dec. 9. If only one candidate files – and there’s a $1,000 filing fee – there won’t be a primary, and that candidate will be declared the party's primary winner.
In 2012, Constitution Party candidate Virgil H. Goode received 2,222 votes in Idaho, placing last among the six candidates on the ballot with 0.3 percent of the vote. Republican Mitt Romney was the Idaho winner, with 64.5 percent of the vote; Democratic President Barack Obama received 32.6 percent; Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson got 1.4 percent; and Goode and two independents each had less than 1 percent.