Luna in running for state GOP chairman’s post

Former state superintendent Tom Luna is running for state Republican Party chairman, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported Friday.

“No one has more experience fighting the left and their liberal agenda than me,” Luna said in an email to Republican central committee members. “For eight years I took on the strongest liberal special interest groups in the country. They fought me as we expanded school choice, removed their stranglehold on local school boards, implemented pay for performance for our teachers and followed fiscally conservative principles in spending your tax dollars.”

Luna was elected state superintendent in 2006 and re-elected four years later. Midway through his second term, Idaho voters overwhelmingly rejected Propositions 1, 2 and 3, Luna’s three laws to overhaul Idaho’s K-12 system. He did not seek re-election in 2014.

Republicans will elect a new state chairman on June 29.

While Luna is in the race, it’s unclear whether another big-name Republican will run as well. Rumors have linked former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador to the opening, according to Seth Ogilvie of Idaho Public Television’s “Idaho Reports,” but Labrador has not commented.

Idaho Falls attorney and former congressional candidate Bryan Smith has ruled out a run, Nathan Brown of the Post Register reported.

The race for the chairmanship comes into focus as former state GOP chair Jonathan Parker faces a felony charge of stalking.

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