Former Idaho congressional candidate named to GOP national committee 

Attorney Bryan Smith will serve until the post is voted on at next year’s Republican state convention

By: - August 1, 2023 4:30 am
Republican National Convention delegates talk prior to the start of the first day of the Republican National Convention

In this file photo, Republican National Convention delegates talk prior to the start of the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (David T. Foster III/Getty Images)

The Idaho Republican State Central Committee selected former congressional candidate and longtime GOP activist Bryan Smith to fill the vacant national committee seat for the party Saturday.

Idaho Republican Party Bryan Smith
Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith was selected to serve on the Republican National Committee. (Courtesy of Daniel Murphy)

Smith won the seat after he was the only candidate nominated to serve in the positions, according to a press release issued by the Idaho Republican Party. 

Smith, an attorney from Idaho Falls, ran unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and 2022. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, defeated Smith both times in the Republican primary election.

“I want to offer my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supported me, to our State Chairwoman, Dorothy Moon, and to Nina Beesley and Dale Mortimer for their outstanding nominating speeches,” Smith said in a written statement. “I look forward to serving Idaho and the Idaho Republican Party as we continue working to save our nation and our state.”

Smith will finish out the term held by previous national committeeman Damond Watkins, which runs through next year’s Republican State Convention. 

In a telephone interview, Watkins said he was blindsided by party leaders and coerced into resigning during the Idaho GOP summer meeting in Challis. The Post Register first reported on July 22 that Watkins said his resignation was coerced.   

In a written statement last week, Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon said she and an Idaho GOP official investigating Watkins spoke with Watkins before they planned to release a report about him to attendees at the GOP meeting. 

“The hearsay and rumors in the press about that private conservation are false,” Moon said in a written statement. 

As part of his national committee post, Smith will play a role in planning the 2024 Republican National Convention.  

“I am excited to announce that Bryan will be joining Idaho’s delegation at the RNC summer meeting in August, and working with our team as we prepare for the 2024 Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus and 2024 RNC Convention in Milwaukee,” Moon said in a written statement. “Bryan brings years of dedicated service to our party.”


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Clark Corbin
Clark Corbin

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News. His reporting in Idaho has helped uncover a multimillion-dollar investment scam and exposed inaccurate data that school districts submitted to the state.