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Idaho GOP drops lawsuit against Bonneville County Republican Central Committee

Sept. 16, 2022 Updated Fri., Sept. 16, 2022 at 8:56 p.m.

By Clark Corbin Idaho Capital Sun

The lawsuit that former Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna filed against the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee in May has been dismissed.

An Ada County judge dismissed the lawsuit and a preliminary injunction order Thursday after Idaho Republican Party delegates voted to direct the party’s new executive committee to dismiss the lawsuit, according to news releases issued by the Bonneville County RCC and Idaho Republican Party.

Luna filed the suit May 12 in Fourth District Court in Ada County after the Bonneville County RCC endorsed candidates running in the May 16 primary election. Luna alleged the endorsements violated the Idaho Republican Party’s bylaws requiring the central committees to stay neutral in primary elections. Luna alleged the endorsements amounted to a contract violation and put the party at risk.

Luna sought the lawsuit and injunction in order to block the committee from issuing endorsements in the party’s primary election.

The Bonneville County RCC maintained it had freedom of speech rights to endorse the candidates and inform primary election voters of who it thought the best choices were.

Luna and the Idaho Republican Party’s lawsuit against the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee became a wedge issue during this summer’s Idaho GOP convention, where new Chairwoman Dorothy Moon defeated Luna to claim the state party’s top spot.

On Thursday, leaders of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee issued a news release welcoming the dismissal of the lawsuit and the temporary injunction order.

“This order wrongfully restricted the Bonneville County Republican Party’s right to communicate with Republican voters on the eve of the Republican Party’s own primary nomination,” it read. “The vacation of this order reinforces the great value and importance of freedom of speech, as well as the Republican Party organization’s role in preserving the principles upon which it is founded.”

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