Capitol & State

Former Idaho GOP chairman Yates to make lieutenant governor bid official Tuesday

Steve Yates arriving in Taiwan in early December 2016. At the time he was asked by reporters about his role in arranging a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to then President-elect Donald Trump. Yates had spoken to the Trump transition team about Taiwan but did not directly arrange the call.
Steve Yates arriving in Taiwan in early December 2016. At the time he was asked by reporters about his role in arranging a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to then President-elect Donald Trump. Yates had spoken to the Trump transition team about Taiwan but did not directly arrange the call. The Taiwan News

Former Idaho State Republican Chairman Steve Yates plans the formal launch of his campaign for lieutenant governor Tuesday with events in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, where he lives.

Yates has scheduled appearances at the state Capitol in Boise in the morning and a Coeur d’Alene restaurant at noon before making a final announcement at the Bonneville County Courthouse in the late afternoon.

Yates, 48, was elected GOP state chair in a fraught 2014 state convention and re-elected in 2016. He stepped down this spring as he contemplated a run for statewide office. An Asia expert, he runs an international advisory business that assesses political risk and opportunity for investors.

He is one of five announced Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. The incumbent, Brad Little, is running for governor. Other candidates are state Sen. Marv Hagedorn of Meridian, former state Rep. Janice McGeachin of Idaho Falls, state Rep. Kelley Packer of McCammon, and 2014 Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Steve Pankey of Twin Falls. No Democratic candidates have yet announced.

In 2001, while working as a China policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, Yates was hired as a national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, reporting to Cheney’s chief of staff.

In December, during President-elect Donald Trump’s transition, he got attention for a minor role he played in what became a diplomatic fracas with China caused when Trump spoke to the president of Taiwan.

Bill Dentzer: 208-377-6438, @DentzerNews

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