Gem State Roundup

Longtime Idaho member of Republican National Committee resigns

By: - June 28, 2023 1:28 pm
Idaho State Capitol building in Boise

The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise on May 5, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Mountain Sun)

Idaho’s longtime member of the Republican National Committee Damond Watkins has resigned from his position, according to a press release issued by the Idaho Republican Party. 

Damond Watkins
Damond Watkins has been active with Republican politics in Idaho for many years. (Courtesy of Idaho Republican Party)

Watkins has served as national committeeman for the Idaho Republican Party since 2011. As a member of the Republican National Committee, Watkins was involved with helping plan past Republican National Conventions, raising money for GOP candidates and developing election strategies.

“With 12 years of service, Mr. Watkins has played a pivotal role in shaping our party’s vision and driving positive change,” the Idaho Republican Party said in a written statement. “During his tenure, Mr. Watkins’ commitment to our shared Republican values and principles has made an impact on our organization and the wider Republican community. As we bid farewell to Mr. Watkins, we express our gratitude for his service and contributions over the years to the Idaho Republican Party.” 

Although he did not serve as an elected official, Watkins has played a major role in national and state politics in Idaho. Watkins served as a financial adviser for Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign from 2007 to 2008. In 2017, former President Donald J. Trump appointed Watkins to the President’s Commission on White House Fellows. 

Watkins has also served on the board of directors for the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a nearly 50-year-old business lobbying organization, and worked for more than 10 years as a vice president of Melaleuca Inc., in Idaho Falls. 

In 2013, Watkins survived a plane crash in Idaho Falls where he suffered a broken back, the Idaho State Journal reported.

The Idaho Republican Party will name a successor to fill Watkins’ vacancy until a more permanent successor is picked at next year’s Republican State Convention. 

Under the party’s bylaws, Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon has 30 days to call a special meeting of the state central committee to fill the vacancy for the RNC position, according to the Idaho Republican Party’s press release.


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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.