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Palin visit rumored for Ward, Labrador campaign calls it diversion tactic

Congressional candidate Vaughn Ward’s campaign says it is “just a rumor at this point” that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will come to Idaho on behalf of Ward’s campaign. “We don’t have confirmation of anything at this point,” said Mike Tracy, the new campaign spokesman for the 1st District GOP hopeful. “Right now people are speculating.” Palin endorsed Ward on March 30, along with two other veterans who are seeking congressional seats in Florida and Illinois. At that time, Ward said he expected the former vice presidential candidate to help him with fundraising and probably to visit the state to campaign for him. “She’s an Idahoan,” he said then. “I’m pretty confident we’re going to get her here.”

Ward was Nevada state chairman for the McCain-Palin campaign for five months; in August, her father and father-in-law came to Idaho to stump for Ward. Palin, along with her family, has roots in Idaho, lived in Sandpoint and graduated from the University of Idaho. Tracy said, “If she comes to Idaho for Vaughn that’d be great for him in the election, whether it’s before the primary, before the general, either one.”

Ward is vying against Raul Labrador in the GOP primary for a chance to challenge Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick; Labrador’s campaign issued a press release today saying it was rumored that “the Ward campaign was desperately after Sarah Palin to come in during this last week of the election to rescue his troubled campaign.” Mansfield said in the release, “No doubt she’d be a big deal and divert a lot of attention from questions surrounding Ward’s authenticity. … Idaho conservatives will still be wondering whether Vaughn Ward is what he says he is.” You can click below to read the full Labrador campaign press release.

Tracy took over spokesman duties Friday from former campaign manager Ryan O’Barto, who resigned after a series of embarrassing revelations for the campaign, including Thursday’s report by The Spokesman-Review that five of 10 issue position statements on Ward’s campaign website were word-for-word identical to statements on other candidates’ and congressmen’s sites. All of Ward’s position statements were removed from the website on Thursday, and though Ward said then that he expected to have new ones up by the end of the day, there still are none on the site. “We’re working on those and we just want to make sure that everything and every step we take … is absolutely accurate and that there are no issues and no problems with anything that we’re doing,” Tracy told Eye on Boise. “That’s one of the corrective things. So if we take time to do it, it’s going to be because we want to make sure that there are no mistakes.”


Labrador for Congress
 
NEWS RELEASE​                                                                         FOR MORE INFORMATION:
May 17, 2010​                                                                                 Dennis Mansfield

PALIN RIDING TO THE RESCUE?

(Boise, Idaho) Labrador press spokesman Dennis Mansfield issued a statement today in which he talked about rumors that the Ward Campaign was desperately after Sarah Palin to come in during this last week of the election to rescue his troubled campaign.

“I don’t know if it’s true, of course,” Mansfield said in a prepared statement.  “But it sure sounds like something they might do.  No doubt she’d be a big deal and divert a lot of attention from questions surrounding Ward’s authenticity.  More glamour over substance.”

Mansfield admitted he’d be tempted to sneak in to see her himself. “I’ll bet a lot of our supporters would go to bask in her star power,” Mansfield said.  “She’s pretty cool.
 
But when the stage lights go out and the theatrical smoke and fog subsides – Idaho conservatives will still be wondering whether Vaughn Ward is what he says he is.”
 
                                                                                   -30-


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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