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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kootenai County GOP re-elects Brent Regan as chairman

Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chairman Brent Regan reviews the procedures for the party’s leadership elections Thursday, May 30, 2024.  (James Hanlon/The Spokesman-Review)

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee narrowly re-elected longtime chairman Brent Regan Thursday night over a more moderate challenger.

Jim Pierce, a founding member of the North Idaho Republicans who is not a precinct committeeman, was also nominated for the position. Regan won 36-32.

The composition of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee changed dramatically last week as 30 members backed by the North Idaho Republicans won precinct races. The North Idaho Republicans is a political action committee that has opposed KCRCC-endorsed candidates for being too extreme. They ran an aggressive campaign in the May election to win back as many precincts as they could.

“The chairman is a very technical and involved job,” Regan said in his nomination speech. “You have to be a counselor, a referee and a coach.”

Newly elected Republican precinct committeemen met Thursday night at the Kootenai County Administration Building in Coeur d’Alene to elect their executive committee and state convention delegates. There are 73 precincts, and 70 committeemen were present.

Pierce is a former vice-chair and rules chair of the Idaho Republican Party. In his speech, he touted his Republican bona fides, including by denouncing the Thursday conviction of former president Donald Trump, which he called “a travesty of justice.”

He questioned, however, the transparency of the KCRCC and spoke in favor of welcoming all conservatives.

“Control is not a conservative value,” Pierce said.

Regan was elected a committeeman and chair of the committee in 2016. Under his leadership, the party shifted right and became aggressive in rating and vetting primary candidates, usually favoring candidates further right over incumbent Republicans. KCRCC-backed candidates took majority control of boards such as North Idaho College and the Community Library Network. Regan is also the chair of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative-libertarian think tank with notable influence on Idaho politics.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.