Jimmy Farris, the Democratic challenger to 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, is criticizing Labrador for missing votes at triple the rate of his three predecessors, the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey reports today, and Labrador is acknowledging Farris has a point. “I don’t think it’s acceptable,” Labrador told Popkey. “Of course, if my son gets sick, I’ll miss as many votes as I have to miss. But no, I think I can get that down. The people of Idaho hired me to do a job and I should be there.” Farris accused Labrador of a “lack of work ethic,” and said voters should fire him.
Labrador cited three major reasons for his 72 missed votes: His now-9-year-old son’s weeklong hospitalization in 2011, the first-ever GOP presidential caucus in March, and his own primary in May. Those prompted him to miss full days of votes. Also, he said, five delayed flights from Idaho caused him to miss more.
But Popkey also reports in a follow-up today that if Labrador goes to Florida as scheduled Wednesday to campaign for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in part by doing an evening TV interview with Spanish-language network Univision, he'll miss 27 scheduled votes just that day. You can read Popkey's full report here, and his follow-up here.