Former state schools superintendent Tom Luna will head the Idaho Republican Party after a narrow vote at Saturday’s state GOP convention.
Luna defeated Bonneville County Republican Chairman Mark Fuller on a 274-262 vote, Blake Jones of the Idaho Press reported.
According to Jones’ report, Luna criticized Boise Mayor Lauren McLean during his acceptance speech, saying the mayor is pursuing a “socialist agenda.” Said Luna, “We must fight this agenda. We must expose this agenda and use it as a rally cry.”
Luna, of Nampa, was elected state superintendent in 2006 and re-elected four years later. His second term was marked by a bitter debate over his three-piece education reform package — which he called Students Come First, but critics quickly dubbed the “Luna Laws.” Legislators passed the measures in 2011, but voters overwhelmingly repealed all three in November 2012.
Luna did not seek re-election in 2014.
Saturday marked Luna’s second run for state GOP chairman. In 2018, former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador defeated Luna for the post by two votes.
Republicans held their convention in Nampa Thursday through Saturday.