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Eye On Boise

Idaho Dems ‘a lot less negative’ with new congressional candidate on board

Idaho Democrats are markings something of a milestone today with the emergence of a new candidate for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, former NFL player and Lewiston native Jimmy Farris; you can read my full story here at House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said with Congress' low approval rating, “This might be the time for somebody who's totally different to make an impact.” Said Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, “We don't exactly have dozens of people lining up to run that race on the Democratic side, and he's a candidate that I think doesn't fit the traditional mold of the kinds of folks we traditionally run. And I think that may be a very good thing.”

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant said, “Jimmy has a great story - I mean, he walked on to the NFL, for crying out loud. You don't do that. … He's taken on the challenges. He's got the determination.” Grant said he's been talking with potential legislative and congressional candidates since he took the party post in February. “I would say, in terms of serious folks that I thought could mount a serious race, I've had probably three of 'em turn me down,” he said. “There are two others or so that I'm still talking to but they're not stepping up. With Jimmy on board now in the 1st District, I'll focus my attention on the 2nd District. … I really don't expect to see him have a primary.”

He added, “Guys like Jimmy, they're a breath of fresh air. And the Democratic Party's starting to move a little bit. I'm not saying that we're optimistic, but we're certainly a lot less negative than we were six months ago.”

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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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