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Idaho GOP to hold caucus instead of presidential primary, unless legislature holds special session

Idaho GOP has to let the national party how they are choosing their delegates by October 1.
Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 19:44:40-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho legislature might be heading into a special session this month.

Multiple petitions are in to decide whether or not to return to a Primary Election system for the 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination.

Since the 2016 election, Idaho has chosen the primary route. The state would hold an election and people would vote for their preferred candidate. The state would then decide which candidate would then get the delegate support.

That system might be gone soon though. During the most recent legislative session, lawmakers removed the primary election, while trying to move it from March to May.

“The Republican party found themselves in a situation where we had no presidential primary election," Said Senator Scott Herndon from District 1.

In realizing the error, the GOP met over the summer and decided that having a Caucus was the best way to decide the delegates for the Republican nomination.

The caucus would be held by the state GOP party and registered Republicans would participate in their home county.

There are multiple petitions to create a special session to bring back the primary. But, there is a deadline. Herndon says the Idaho GOP has to let the national party know how they'll be choosing delegates by October 1.

“I’d peg it between possible and probable, maybe only closer to possible and not as close as I want to probable," Herndon told Idaho News 6.

For a special session to be called by the legislature, 60% of the House and Senate would have to agree on the petition. Herndon says there is over 60% support for a May primary in the Senate, but the House won't get there.

He does think the House could get support in the Senate for a March primary date.

“We’re really on a time crunch," Herndon said. "We have to get this organized probably within the next seven days, and we need to complete the special session and have the governor sign the bill before October 1 so that the party meets its deadline."