* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.
BOISE – Idaho congressman Walt Minnick has come out with another hard-hitting TV ad about GOP rival Raul Labrador, this one focusing on a federal drug case involving an illegal immigrant that Labrador handled as an attorney in 2001. Minnick says that after Labrador got his client released pending trial, the man was deported to Mexico, thus avoiding facing the charges.
BOISE – Freshman congressman Walt Minnick is a new kind of Idaho Democrat – one who votes more often with Republicans than with his own party, one who attracts business support that usually goes to GOP candidates, and one who crusades against earmarks, refusing to request any even if it means his district loses out on pricey projects. Still, in conservative Idaho, where the 1st Congressional District voted just 35 percent for Barack Obama for president in 2008 and Minnick is the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1994, Minnick’s re-election isn’t assured.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick is being challenged this year by state representative Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and two others, in one of Idaho’s most-watched election contests.
BOISE – It’s debate season, with major debates set in the coming weeks in Idaho’s top political races, giving voters who tune in a chance to see and compare the candidates. The two major-party candidates for governor, incumbent Gov. Butch Otter and Democrat Keith Allred, have faced off twice in recent weeks at City Club events in Idaho Falls and Boise; the two also are scheduled for two televised debates in late October, though Otter canceled on a planned Oct. 7 debate in Lewiston.
BOISE – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick has launched his first television commercial of the campaign season, while his Republican challenger, Raul Labrador, still hasn’t hit the airwaves. Minnick’s ad, the first of a series, began running on Monday morning throughout the 1st Congressional District, including in the Spokane TV market, in Lewiston and on North Idaho cable. In it, he focuses on his fiscally conservative voting record in Congress, including his opposition to many of the major initiatives of his own party’s leadership.
BOISE – Idaho’s average gas price is now $2.99 per gallon, up four cents in the past three weeks and 31 cents above the national average of $2.68, according to AAA of Idaho. But the AAA is forecasting a 10 percent increase in auto travel over this Labor Day holiday weekend in Idaho and the region, compared to last year, despite the pricier gas. “We do not expect Idaho’s higher gas prices will have any sizable impact on travel intentions,” said Dave Carlson, director of public and government affairs for AAA Idaho.
The AAA auto club says drivers hitting the road this Labor Day weekend in Washington will find gasoline prices 14 cents a gallon higher than they were this time last year.
BOISE – U.S. House hopeful Raul Labrador hasn’t exactly gotten the help that the Idaho Republican Party promised in June when it announced the hiring of two full-time staffers to help his campaign. Idaho GOP Executive Director Jonathan Parker said Wednesday that one of the staffers is spending most of his time working on state races instead of Labrador’s race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick.
BOISE – With the campaign in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District hitting full swing, a new poll out from an independent pollster shows incumbent Walt Minnick with a 23.3-point lead over GOP challenger Raul Labrador. The poll, taken by GOP pollster Greg Strimple on July 29 for the Idaho Hospital Association, found that if the election were held today, 52.1 percent of respondents would vote for Minnick and 28.8 percent for Labrador. Another 1.9 percent chose “other,” and 17.2 percent were undecided.
BOISE – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick is the first Democrat since 2006 to be named a “Taxpayer Hero” by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, a group that decries “pork-barrel spending” and tracks congressional votes on “wasteful programs.”
BOISE – Idaho GOP congressional candidate Raul Labrador has ended an awkward dance with the National Republican Congressional Committee by agreeing to join its “Young Guns” candidate recruitment program, after refusing earlier. “With the election coming so quickly, I don’t want the NRCC changing our campaign themes and strategy,” Labrador said. “My campaign will reflect Idaho values, not the priorities of Washington, D.C.” But, he said, “After being assured they would not interfere with our campaign’s Idaho-focused strategy, I agreed to participate.”
BOISE – The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, an influential lobby group for big Idaho businesses, held its annual conference last week in McCall, and it was kicked off by Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick. “We sincerely appreciate Rep. Minnick’s willingness to be part of our annual meeting with the membership,” said IACI President Alex LaBeau. “His office has been very responsive to employers and employees throughout the state. Idaho is well represented.”
BOISE - As the 1st District Congressional race shapes up for November, incumbent Congressman Walt Minnick is launching his re-election campaign. Minnick, a conservative “blue dog” Democrat, faces Republican Raul Labrador in his bid for a second term, after Labrador defeated Vaughn Ward in a bruising GOP primary last week.
State lawmaker Raul Labrador has won the Republican nomination for North Idaho’s seat in Congress, pulling a primary upset over rival Vaughn Ward as Idaho voters held a typically low-turnout primary election with big consequences.
A contentious race for the GOP nomination for North Idaho’s seat in Congress went down to the wire Tuesday night, as Idaho voters held a typically low-turnout primary election with big consequences. Up and down the ticket, the election set the stage for major contests in November, while writing the final chapter in other races, including a contested nonpartisan race for the Idaho Supreme Court. In that contest, incumbent Justice Roger Burdick was edging out 2nd District Judge John Bradbury.
BOISE – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had harsh words for the “lamestream media” and the liberal left as she gave an enthusiastic speech rallying voters for GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward in Boise on Friday. “I like those bumper stickers that say, ‘You can keep the change,’ ” Palin told a crowd of between 1,500 and 2,000 at the Qwest Arena in downtown Boise.
BOISE – Idaho GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward posted three new position statements on his website Tuesday morning – and portions of one of them, on the war in Iraq, matched nearly word-for-word a statement on a California congressman’s re-election campaign website. The matchup in the wording follows Ward’s removal of all of his position statements from his campaign website last week after The Spokesman-Review reported that five of the 10 were identical to statements on other candidates’ or congressmen’s websites, including two that touted specific pending legislation in Congress that Ward, when questioned, said he hadn’t reviewed and didn’t necessarily support.
BOISE – Vaughn Ward and Raul Labrador, who are vying for the GOP nomination for Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat, have much in common, though they’re locked in a contentious and sometimes bitter contest in Idaho’s May 25 primary election. Both are barely past age 40, with photogenic good looks and attractive young families. Both came from modest means and were raised largely by single mothers. Both speak in forceful, idealistic terms about public service when they talk about running for Congress. Both are staking out the conservative end of the political spectrum, taking a hard line against abortion, illegal immigration, tax increases and any new Idaho wilderness.
BOISE – Idaho congressional candidate Vaughn Ward’s campaign stopped taking calls Friday and part of his campaign website remained shut down as his campaign manager, Ryan O’Barto, resigned and Ward announced he was bringing in a new team. The shake-up came after a series of campaign flubs over the past month, culminating in a Spokesman-Review report that half of Ward’s online position statements on issues were identical to those on other candidates’ and congressmen’s websites. The campaign took down the position statements shortly after being contacted by the newspaper on Thursday; they hadn’t been replaced as of the end of the day Friday.
BOISE – After a week and a half of heavy criticism around Idaho for the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment – direct election of U.S. senators – one of two GOP congressional candidates who backed the idea now says he never did. “I’m not changing the position; I’m clarifying would be a better way to put that,” said Vaughn Ward, who is running in the hotly contested GOP primary for a chance to challenge 1st District Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick. “I do not want to take away the power of people to elect senators,” Ward said Monday. “What I do support is amending the Constitution and adding a two-term limit for U.S. senators.”