Idaho Politics Weekly contributor Steve Taggart sits down with David Johnston, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party to discuss the political landscape in the state.
What did you do before becoming executive director?
Before becoming the executive director of the Idaho Republican Party, I worked for the Office of Energy Resources as an Energy Specialist. Prior to that, I spent several years interning, volunteering, and working in various capacities in Idaho politics, from the legislature to campaigns. Before my time in Idaho politics, I spent four years on active duty in the Marine Corps.
What are your priorities for 2015 and 2016?
This year, for both myself and the IDGOP, generally is a year of preparation—preparing for the 2016 general election. 2015 will be spent planning, organizing, training, and raising the resources necessary to elect Republicans in 2016 from president down to the local level. 2015 is an exciting year! We have several big events this year, particularly our Summer Meeting, which will be in Idaho Falls June 5th & 6th, where we aim to bring in some large national figures to engage our Party.
What race or races are you particularly concerned about in 2016?
2016 will be an important election. The biggest contest will be the presidential race and we aim for Idaho and the Idaho Republican Party to be a significant player in that race. We will work hard and do our part to ensure the next president is a Republican—and in more ways than just ensuring our four electoral votes go to the Republican candidate. Our other priority will be to maintain and expand our numbers in the state legislature.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? Oh, well, when I do have spare time I enjoy spending it with my beautiful wife and daughter. A Saturday, if I’m not working, may go like this: shooting in the morning, getting outside with my family and our dog in the afternoon, and watching a good movie in the evening.