- U.S. Senate and Gage Skidmore, CC by 2.0
- Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (upper left), Sen. Jim Risch (lower left), Sen. Mike Crapo (upper right) and Rep. Mike Simpson (lower right).
In a letter, Idaho County Central Republican Committee Chairman Jon Menough told the senator his public denial of the GOP candidate made him unfit for membership in the Republican Party:
"Donald Trump has been chosen by the Republican voters of this country to represent them in our bid for the White House this year. Mr. Trump is their choice based on rules established by the Republican Party. He is our nominee. He represents the wishes of the
Republican Party – not you as a Senator, nor others such as Mr. Romney nor the Bush family – he was chosen by us to represent us.
It was extremely disappointing to hear three days ago that you decided to no longer support Donald Trump as the Republican Candidate for President. As a Republican, you are expected to espouse certain ideals that all of us have in common. While many of us do not agree with positions you have taken in the past, still, as a Republican, we have
been willing to support and sustain you in your position as a Senator from our great state.Crapo's office has not issued a response to the letter, nor would the Idaho Republican Party offer any comment on the divisions the Trump campaign has begun to present within the state GOP.
However, with your announcement that you would no longer support Mr. Trump, in our opinion, you have relinquished your right to be associated with the Party we represent. Effective immediately, the Idaho County Republican Central Committee will provide neither physical nor financial support to your effort to be re-elected. We will not distribute signs or other campaign literature on your behalf. Those of us who have put signs up for you, will remove those signs. You have lost our respect as a Republican and feel you are no longer worthy of the title of ‘Republican’ that we proudly wear. "
The Republican exodus from the Trump camp began after the Oct. 8 release of a recording from 2005 in which Trump can be heard bragging about seducing, groping and kissing women.
The recording became a point of contention the next evening during the second presidential debate. Soon after its release, Crapo and Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson issued statements pulling their support from Trump, with Crapo calling his comments "disrespectful, profane and demeaning."
Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, both Republicans, both doubled down on their support of Trump, saying gaffes aside, the real estate mogul turned political contender remains a better choice than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
While Trump's candidacy is still supported by 21 Republican governors, nine have said they will not vote for the party's pick. Other high-profile GOP politicians, including House Majority Leader Paul Ryan and Arizona Sen. John McCain, have either renounced their support or backed out of campaign appearances with Trump.