Former Congressman Bill Sali has made his announcement - he's endorsing Raul Labrador in the GOP primary for the 1st District congressional seat, the seat he formerly held. Sali said he didn't inform Labrador of his decision in advance - he just asked him to be there. Said Labrador, "It is a surprise, but it's an honor. ... I thank him."
Sali said he decided to endorse Labrador, a second-term Republican state lawmaker from Eagle, because "it takes a person who's been there, who knows what it's like to cast a tough vote." He also said he admired Labrador's willingness to take on his own party; Labrador was a vocal opponent of GOP Gov. Butch Otter's unsuccessful transportation funding proposal last year. "Both parties have problems," Sali said.
Asked his opinion of Vaughn Ward, another leading Republican seeking the 1st District seat - who's been campaigning hard since last spring and is a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan - Sali said, "Well, you know, Vaughn has served our country with distinction and we owe him a debt of gratitude for that, there is no way around that, as we do with all of our veterans. But I have to tell you, sending Vaughn Ward to Washington, D.C. is a little bit like sending a boy scout to Iraq. He doesn't have any experience casting tough votes. He doesn't have experience in the political realm."