Gem State Roundup

Shelter director says North Idaho delegate was behind flyers distributed during GOP convention

By: - July 20, 2022 3:29 pm
Idaho delegation signs

The executive director of Valley House Homeless Shelter in Twin Fall confirmed by email that the person who dropped off alternate flyers for a campaign event during the Idaho Republican Party’s convention was a delegate from Kootenai County.

The executive director of Valley House Homeless Shelter in Twin Falls, John Spiers, confirmed by email on Wednesday that the person who dropped off alternate flyers for a campaign event during the Idaho Republican Party’s convention was David Reilly, a delegate from Kootenai County.

According to the shelter, Reilly dropped the flyers off on Thursday prior to a “Pizza and Patriots” event hosted by former Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna, who was seeking a second term as chairman. Flyers with a different design and a title of “Pizza for the hungry” were left with a representative of Valley House and distributed to shelter clients.

Reilly could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. KTVB first reported the confirmed identity. 

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Organizers of the event, including former Idaho GOP Chairman Tom Luna and Republican campaign staffer Tyler Hurst, have encouraged donations to Valley House Homeless Shelter to support their work.

The shelter has a list of urgent food requests as well as an Amazon wish list, and it allows monetary donations through Venmo and Paypal, or in person with checks or cash.

Reilly tweeted on Wednesday that the whole story was cooked up by political operatives, but did not directly admit his involvement. He also tweeted a photo with Luna and a screenshot of a $100 donation to Valley House. 

Tyler Hurst, a Republican campaign staffer who organized Luna’s event, said unhoused children and their family members showed up to the hotel and asked if it was the place where they could get free pizza. Hurst said Luna and the event organizers fed them and called the event a town hall instead. In a statement the following day, Luna called it a shameful act. 

Hurst said it was a politically motivated action designed to disrupt the event. Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley, was elected as chairwoman of the party on Saturday, and many delegates wore T-shirts and passed out signs supporting her. Reilly tweeted his support for her as chairwoman as well.

Moon said she had nothing to do with the act and condemned it on Saturday when she addressed the delegates, calling it a “dirty trick.”

Reilly moved to Post Falls in 2020, and ran as a write-in candidate for governor as a Democrat in the May primary, garnering 21 votes. In statements online, Reilly said he ran as a Democrat to “make Democrats conservative again.” He changed his affiliation back to Republican after the primary, and was selected by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee as a delegate to the convention. 

Reilly, who calls himself a Christian nationalist, previously lived in Pennsylvania and hosted a radio show, but resigned following his involvement in the Unite the Right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. He ran for a school board position in Post Falls in 2021 and received the endorsement of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, but did not win the election. Several news articles have pointed out Reilly’s antisemitic and homophobic tweets, which he often later deletes. His deleted tweets have included suggestions that Iran should bomb Israel, and saying Jewish people have white privilege because they “pretend to be white when it’s expedient for them.”


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Kelcie Moseley-Morris
Kelcie Moseley-Morris

Kelcie Moseley-Morris is an award-winning journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State University. Moseley-Morris started her journalism career at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, followed by the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Press.