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Eye On Boise

Rammell leaves stage during debate

Less than 15 minutes into tonight’s live debate between four candidates for Idaho’s open U.S. Senate seat, independent candidate Rex Rammell took ill and left the stage. “Mr. Rammell is not feeling well,” moderator Dee Sarton informed the audience. Just moments earlier, Rammell had given an opening statement in which he said, “I figure it’s a pleasure for me to stand with a bunch of old war horses, and I’d like to emphasize the word old. Jim Risch and Larry LaRocco have been in politics for over three-quarters of a century.” He also said, “Tonight, you’ll find out who the real Rex Rammell is.”

After Rammell left the stage, Risch and Larocco got into a heated back-and-forth exchange over LaRocco’s allegation that Risch benefited to the tune of $53,000 from the property tax reduction he pushed through as governor, which Risch termed “a lie” and “absolute nonsense.” He said “I’ve never paid $53,000 or anywhere near that in property taxes. I pay less than $10,000 in property taxes. It’s outrageous for you to stand here and talk falsely like that.”

At that, the candidate named “Pro-Life” said, “Let’s all have a little prayer here in your heart that Rex can get out here and be all right.”

A few minutes later, as the candidates were discussing energy, Rammell returned. “My apologies to the audience,” he said. “I have been campaigning quite hard and I put myself in the hospital a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t completely recovered. Speaking of energy, I could use a little extra tonight.”

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Eye On Boise

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