- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - The Constitution Party of Idaho has rejected its gubernatorial candidate.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1kBzsTb) in a story on Wednesday that delegates at the party’s recent state convention in Cascade voted against endorsing Steve Pankey for governor.

Constitution Party Chairman Floyd Whitley says Pankey’s advocacy for same-sex marriage goes against party beliefs.

The 63-year-old Pankey describes himself as celibate, a born-again Christian, and Idaho’s first openly gay gubernatorial candidate. In May, he wrote a letter to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden urging him to accept a federal court ruling that overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“His advocacy of homosexual marriage goes against everything the Constitution Party stands for,” Whitley said.

Pankey said that about 15 people attended the convention, including eight voting delegates. He said one person offered to perform an exorcism on him.

“That was probably the most dramatic thing that happened,” he said. “Frankly, (the convention) was a waste of time. It was really goofy. If I had it to do over, I’d run as a Republican or as an independent.”

The Idaho Secretary of State’s Office said Pankey will remain on the November ballot as a Constitution Party candidate.

“There are no (statutory) provisions for kicking someone out of a party,” said Chief Deputy Tim Hurst. “There’s no litmus test a candidate has to meet.”

The Constitution Party’s national committeeman attended the convention and asked Pankey to withdraw, Whitley said. If that happens, the party could appoint an alternate candidate.

“The unfortunate thing is that our economic proposals and resolutions are being overshadowed by this frankly disgusting affair,” Whitley said.

He said the party wants a low, flat-rate business tax and to restrict growth in state government to no more than the long-term, inflation-adjusted increase in gross state product.

Pankey said he finds some of the party’s policies unrealistic. He said his top priorities include home schooling and opposing Idaho Common Core standards. He also wants to focus on jobs and veterans services.


Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com

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