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Idaho GOP drops lawsuit against Bonneville County Republican Central Committee

Idaho State Capitol - 2021
Otto Kitsinger
Idaho State Capitol building on March 23, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for 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 on Thursday after Idaho Republican Party delegates voted to direct the party’s new executive committee to dismiss the lawsuit, according to press releases issued by the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee and Idaho Republican Party.

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna filed the suit on May 12 in Fourth District Court in Ada County after the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee 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 and its central committee at risk.

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

The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee maintained it had freedom of speech rights to endorse the candidates and inform primary election voters of who it thought the best choices of conservative candidates 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 Republican Party 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 press 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,” the statement read, in part. “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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