Idaho 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador filed the initial paperwork with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office this morning to run for governor in 2018, even as he’s in the midst of a national swirl of negative publicity over his recent comment that no one dies for lack of access to health care, which drew jibes against Labrador on the late-night comedy shows last night and was rated "Pants On Fire" for falsity by Politifact this morning.
Labrador, accompanied by his wife, Becca, and his campaign treasurer, Milford Terrell, signed the necessary forms in Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney’s office in the Idaho Capitol.
“He was probably in the office 15, 20 minutes. So not a long time, but yeah, we visited,” Denney said. “It’s really not a surprise to me, because I’ve known that that’s been in his mind for quite some time.”
Labrador has been openly mulling a run for governor, but had made no public announcement. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment this morning.
Denney said, “I don’t think his public announcement will be for a while. What he told me was that he needed to do this so that he could start calling people and drumming up support.”
The filing is a necessary step for that, Denney noted. Until the initial filing is made, he noted, “You’re not supposed to raise any funds or expend any funds. You can do an exploratory type thing, but really you can’t raise money.”
There already are three other GOP candidates in the race for Idaho’s open 2018 gubernatorial contest, with third-term Gov. Butch Otter not seeking another term: Lt. Gov. Brad Little, former state Sen. Russ Fulcher, and Boise developer and physician Tommy Ahlquist. In addition, one Democrat, Troy Minton, and three independents, Lisa Marie, Michael Richardson and John Thomas Wiechec, also have filed.
Denney and Labrador served together in the Idaho House before Labrador was elected to Congress and Denney to the Secretary of State’s office. Asked if he’d offered Labrador any advice, Denney said, “Well, you know, the only advice I can give any of ‘em is just get more votes than the other guy. That’s how you win.”