Thursday, May 13, 2010

Steven Ricks withdraws from state Senate race

Steven Ricks has withdrawn from the race for the District 21 state Senate seat.
Ricks was slated to face incumbent Sen. Russ Fulcher in the Republican primary on May 25.
In a press release, Ricks cited an ongoing lawsuit stemming from his campaign in 2008. During that campaign, also against Fulcher, Ricks prepared and mailed out letters from Republican Party committee members. At the top of the letters was the Idaho Republican Party logo. The letter attacks special interest politics, good old boy politics and party politics.
Ricks lost to Fulcher in the primary. In September following the primary, Idaho Republican Party chairman Norm Semanko sent Ricks a letter chastising Ricks for using the state party logo in his campaign, stating that it might cause confusion that the state Republican Party was endorsing candidates. The letter also took Ricks to task for criticizing the party and making blanket statements about Republican legislators.
A similar letter was sent in September to all committee members.
Then in December 2008, Semanko sent another letter to every person in District 21 who had voted in the May primary election. That letter reiterated many of the same points in the previous letters.
In response, in March 2009, Ricks filed a libel lawsuit in the Fourth Judicial District against Semanko and the Idaho Republican State Central Committee, claiming the defendants made false statements about Ricks, published the false statements and “impugned the honesty, integrity, or reputation of Ricks or exposed Ricks to public contempt or ridicule.”
Ricks’ suit seeks judgment against the defendants of no less than $10,000.
The suit is scheduled to be tried in April 2011.
“Now that the case will not be resolved for almost another year, it will continue to consume a major portion of my time and focus,” according to a press release from Ricks. “The outcome of the case will be important to the operations of the Idaho Republican Party. Many questions, some with Constitutional implications, are at issue in the case.”

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