In an interview with IdahoReporter.com, Idaho Republican Party chairman Norm Semanko said that if members of his party want their candidates to sign what amounts to a loyalty pledge or oath, he will support their decision. He refused to take an official position, and said he would only vote on the measure if a tie-breaking vote is needed Saturday, when delegates will gather to finalize the party's platform, or list of guiding principles.
Friday, Dan Loughrey, a candidate for the Idaho Legislature, proposed that members of the platform committee support a plan to require Republican candidates for public office at all levels - local, state, and national - sign a pledge stating that they will govern and serve according to the party platform. If the party as a whole decides to adopt the measure, it would also require the party chairman to release a list of who signed - and who didn't - 40 days before elections.
"My job as the chairman of the party is to support whatever positions are adopted by party members," said Semanko. "I'll support ... whatever is implemented." He said that he hadn't taken time to review changes made to the platform by delegates, but that he would before he opens debate Saturday. Regardless of what changes are adopted, he explained, delegates will put differences behind them after the convention and move toward winning in November. "We have vigorous debate, set our platform, and move on together. That's what it's all about: party unity," concluded Semanko.
Delegates will set the party's platform in a multi-hour process Saturday.