Eye On Boise

Profile: The 1st CD race

Raul Labrador, left, and Walt Minnick, right, smile before they debate on Idaho Public TV on Oct. 14. (Betsy Russell)
Raul Labrador, left, and Walt Minnick, right, smile before they debate on Idaho Public TV on Oct. 14. (Betsy Russell)

Freshman congressman Walt Minnick is a new kind of Idaho Democrat – one who votes more often with Republicans than with his own party, one who attracts business support that usually goes to GOP candidates, and one who crusades against earmarks, refusing to request any even if it means his district loses out on pricey projects.

Still, in conservative Idaho, where the 1st Congressional District voted just 35 percent for Barack Obama for president in 2008 and Minnick is the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1994, Minnick’s re-election isn’t assured. The Harvard-educated former timber products CEO beat unpopular GOP Rep. Bill Sali by just 4,211 votes two years ago. This year, he faces an ardent but underfunded rising conservative star from the Idaho Statehouse, Raul Labrador. You can read my full story here on the 1st CD race from Saturday's Spokesman-Review, and click here to see where the two leading candidates differ on some key issues in the race.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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