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Labrador helps pitch Romney to Hispanic voters in Colo., Nev.; Farris says Idaho ignored

Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey had an interesting report over the weekend on how freshman Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador has been campaigning in Nevada and Colorado for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, joining former SBA chief Hector Barreto and Romney's Spanish-speaking son Craig to pitch Romney to Hispanic voters, including addressing Hispanic business groups and doing interviews with Spanish-language media. You can read Popkey's full report here, which also examines other to Idaho officials' close ties to the Romney campaign. Now, Labrador's Democratic opponent, Jimmy Farris, has issued a news release criticizing Labrador for the move, saying he's ignoring voters in his home state.

“Congressman Labrador is ignoring the people of Idaho,” Farris said in his release; click below to read it in full. “He’s in Colorado and Nevada wooing Hispanic voters for Romney, but he’s failing to answer the simplest of questions from voters in his own state.” Labrador has consistently refused to comment on anything Farris has brought up in the campaign so far, though he has agreed to debate him on live statewide TV on Oct. 25; the debate will air on Idaho Public Television.


For Immediate Release



Date: September 10, 2012

Farris questions Labrador’s choice to ignore Idaho voters

MERIDIAN, Idaho – 1st Congressional District candidate Jimmy Farris responded today to news that Congressman Raul Labrador is campaigning for Mitt Romney in Nevada and Colorado instead of answering to his own constituents.

Last week, Labrador travelled to Colorado and his hometown of Las Vegas with Romney’s son, Craig, to rally the Hispanic vote in those areas. Labrador should be “rallying” the Hispanic vote in Idaho; but then, he has done nothing for them, or any other middle class working families, to rally them to his side.

“Congressman Labrador is ignoring the people of Idaho,” said Farris. “He’s in Colorado and Nevada wooing Hispanic voters for Romney, but he’s failing to answer the simplest of questions from voters in his own state. Last week, while Congressman Labrador was talking to voters in other states, I was talking to voters in Idaho. If he feels it’s more important to campaign in his hometown of Las Vegas, maybe he should run for Congress there, instead.

“Congressman Labrador would do well to remember that voters in Idaho’s First District are not afraid to seek new representation after their congressman’s first term; the last two First District representatives were only allowed to stay in office for one term,” Farris continued. “It seems like purely arrogant behavior to ignore constituents during a campaign. Then again, perhaps it is his dismal record in Congress that is preventing him from facing the people he was chosen to represent.

“My pledge to Idaho voters is that I will always put Idaho first and be transparent about where I stand on the issues. I’m ready to serve my home state and provide the kind of representation Idaho deserves.”



Jimmy Farris is an Idaho native who hails from Lewiston. He attended the University of Montana where he earned a degree in Marketing and Management while having a standout football career with the Grizzlies. In spite of going undrafted by the NFL, he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2001, and remained with the NFL until retirement in 2009. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins, and the New England Patriots, with whom he won the Super Bowl in 2002. Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs described Farris as “A little ol' guy who fights his guts out.” After retiring from the NFL, Farris moved into sports broadcasting, started the Jimmy Farris Future Leaders Foundation, and then, feeling drawn back to his home state, returned to Idaho. Feeling discouraged with his state’s current leadership, he decided to run for Congress. Farris believes that “Idaho needs leaders who serve Idahoans and not special interests.”

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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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