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Rammell: ‘Jim Risch is too old’

Here’s an item from the Associated Press:

Former elk rancher Rex Rammell has shed his Republican ties and will run for U.S. Senate as an independent because he says his former party has anointed Lt. Gov. Jim Risch as its chosen candidate. Rammell, 47, who last October said he'd run as a Republican for the seat now held by Sen. Larry Craig, conceded he couldn't beat Risch, 64, in the May 27 GOP primary. He's gathered 1,000 signatures needed to run as an independent before filing Wednesday with the Idaho secretary of state's office. The two men have been at odds since September 2006 when Risch, then Idaho's interim governor, ordered an emergency hunt for 160 domesticated elk that had escaped Rammell's property near Yellowstone National Park. Rammell has named the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Risch in a civil lawsuit in 7th District Court. At a press conference in Boise, Rammell said Risch's political career is nearing its end, making 2008 a bad time to run for U.S. Senate. "Jim Risch is too old to become a U.S. senator. You don't become a U.S. senator in the sunset of your career," Rammell said. Risch, contacted by the AP, said age should have little bearing on who becomes U.S. senator, and noted that Ronald Reagan was nearly 70 when he took office as U.S. president in January 1981. “I'd imagine somebody told Ronald Reagan the same thing when he ran for president,” Risch said.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.