First District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador endorsed Russ Fulcher for governor today, over two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter. “Butch Otter has done a lot of things to admire in office,” Labrador said at a Statehouse news conference with Fulcher. “But after 40 years in government, he has lost his way. … Idahoans are looking for leaders with political courage and fresh ideas. Russ Fulcher has both. … He will give our state a chance to fulfill its promise.”
Labrador, a tea party favorite who’s facing only token opposition in his primary-election bid to run for a third term in Congress, said he believes Idaho “should be the next Silicon Valley,” and said he thought Fulcher would steer the state to “high tech and high wages.” “I think what we need is a new vision for Idaho,” Labrador said. “We need strong leaders. We should not go with the good-old-boys network.”
Fulcher said, “This is not simple and this is not easy for Raul Labrador to do. I recognize that. There is a political cost any time you make a statement like that.” He lauded Labrador for standing on principle, and said, “That is the approach that I intend to follow as the governor of the state.”
Labrador had previous endorsed Lawerence Denney in the four-way GOP race for Idaho Secretary of State, and Todd Hatfield in his challenge to GOP state Controller Brandon Woolf. Denney, Hatfield and Fulcher are part of a slate of candidates opposing current Idaho GOP officials in the primary including Otter; Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who is being challenged by Jim Chmelik; and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who is being challenged by C.T. “Chris” Troupis.