Steve Pankey for Idaho
Constitution Party of Idaho withdrew support for Steve Pankey (pictured) after the gubernatorial candidate indicated personal support for same-sex marriage in Idaho.
For a while, Steve Pankey
was the Constitution Party of Idaho's candidate for governor. That was until he voiced his personal support of legal same-sex marriage in Idaho. Now, though still running for governor, he no longer has the support of his party or its acting chairman, Floyd Whitley.
Pankey on May 23 released statements to the Idaho Statesman
regarding his opposition to state efforts to preserve Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage. On July 28, he received a memo from Whitley chastising him for his position on same-sex marriage.
"The publicly stated, albeit personally held, opinions of Mr. Pankey are an outright defiance of the clearly expressed Platform of the Constitution Party of Idaho
, which has, since the inception of this party, been clear as to its principled opposition to homosexual perversion," the memo read.
"I have not breached any Constitution Party rules. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail at Convention," he wrote in an email to Whitley, which he later shared with Boise Weekly
At the Aug. 1-2 Constitution Party convention at the Ashley Inn in Cascade, attended by about 15 party members, Whitley and others stripped Pankey of their support in a 6-2 vote, according to the McCall Star News
Pankey has since alleged that convention goers were openly hostile to him, and that North Idaho-based minister Scott Hensler
was brought to the convention to exorcise him of his support of same-sex marriage. The accusation has been denied by both Hensler and Whitley, with Whitley describing Pankey's statements regarding an exorcism as "disturbed ... phantasmagoric allegations."
Though Pankey lost the Constitution Party endorsement for the November election, his name will still appear on the ballot, according to the Associated Press
CPI went on to endorse the following candidates:
David Hartigan of Boise, lieutenant governor
Christian Fioravanti of Boundary County, Idaho State Senate
Raymond Writz of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho State Senate
Daniel Weston of Meridian, Idaho House of Representatives