Friday, July 19, 2024

Souza to run for Idaho GOP chair

Staff Writer | June 7, 2024 1:09 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Mary Souza will run for the Idaho Republican Party chairmanship at the state convention next weekend in Coeur d’Alene.

Souza announced her candidacy during Thursday’s meeting of the North Idaho Federated Republican Women at Seasons of Coeur d’Alene. She said the plans came together recently.

“I thought I was just going to be a new precinct committeeman and a delegate to the convention, and then the phone started ringing,” she told a crowd of about 40 people. “People from all over the state who I trust and admire and who have been in this kind of thing for a long time called and said, ‘We need you.’”

Souza previously served eight years in the Idaho Senate, serving as a vice-chair in Health and Welfare and Commerce.

She advocated for parental choice options in education while balancing the need for public schools, according to a news release. She was recently elected to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, representing precinct 407.

“I am running to restore unity within our party and to reaffirm our dedication to the conservative values that have long defined the Republican spirit,” Souza said in a news release. “Our party stands at a crossroads and it is essential that we come together to support the robust agenda set forth by President Donald Trump, to secure our southern border and to protect Idaho from the scourge of drugs like marijuana and fentanyl.”

Infighting and distrust among Idaho Republicans has weakened the party, Souza said. She believes new leadership is needed to change that.

“What we need is leadership that respects all of us,” she said Thursday. “We talk about the big tent. We talk about why we need to allow other people to have their views. We talk about that but that’s not what we have right now.”

Souza will face current GOP chair Dorothy Moon. 

The 2024 Idaho GOP State Convention is scheduled for June 13 through June 15 in Coeur d’Alene.

This story has been updated to correctly identify the North Idaho Federated Republican Women.