Idaho Republican Party sues over ‘illegal endorsements’

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Republican Party and Chairman Tom Luna have filed a lawsuit accusing the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee of making illegal endorsements in the Republican primary and demanding the committee stop making recommendations.

The eight-page lawsuit filed late Thursday in Fourth District Court in Ada County also contends the central committee is masquerading as the Idaho Republican Party in endorsing a slate of far-right candidates and confusing the state’s 400,000 registered Republicans.

The central committee’s “illegal conduct therefore not only fundamentally undermines the electoral process — it ultimately risks reducing the quality and effectiveness of government,” the lawsuit states.

The central committee put out a sample ballot with large print across the top saying “The OFFICIAL Republican Party.” The words “Bonneville County Republican Party” appear much smaller at the bottom.

Among the sample ballot picks are Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin over incumbent Gov. Brad Little, former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador over incumbent Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, and Bryan Smith over incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson. The committee has also made donations to candidates.

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