- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - In contrast to the rancor and divisions that marred the Idaho Republican convention the previous week, state Democrats held a gathering that showed camaraderie and unity.

Idaho Democrats concluded their two-day convention on Saturday.

The 175 voting delegates and proxies unanimously adopted a party platform that stressed education and the economy.

“It’s a genuine love fest,” said Dave Finkelnburg, chairman of the Bannock County Democrats.

State Party Chairman Larry Kenck said past state Democratic Party conventions have gone smooth, but this year’s was even more so, and he thinks that’s because the group came in with a focus.

“I am in awe of how this convention went,” he said. “These delegates came here ready to work and they did their work.”

Kenck said the next step is for delegates to talk with friends, family, neighbors and others to tell them what the party stands for, its values and why they each became Democrats.

“That’s how we’re going to grow,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to get it done. That’s how we’re going to get Democrats elected. That’s why I’m proud of you.”

Tony Stewart, of Coeur d’Alene, said the citizens of Idaho can trust the Democratic Party to be as effective at governing as they were at running the convention.

“For this particular year, it’s showed the difference between a party that is united and full of compassion to work for the future of Idaho,” Stewart said. “Whereas the other party (the Republicans) is in very great crisis and conflicted at this time.”

The week before in Moscow, the Republican Party convention became bogged down in a squabble over rules and delegate qualifications. The GOP convention ended without electing a new state chairman or adopting a platform.

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