MERIDIAN, Idaho – Rep. Raul Labrador announced Wednesday that he’ll seek a third term in Congress, not run for Idaho governor.
“I’ve decided to end all the speculation and announce that I have no plans at this time to run for governor,” Labrador said at a news conference. “I do not feel that I have yet completed the mission you sent me to Congress to do. There is still much work to be done.”
In response to questions from reporters, Labrador said, “I never really thought about it seriously. At first it was kind of funny when people would ask me – I had only been in Congress for less than one term, and people just started asking me if I would run for governor.”
He said he’d actually decided against it about three months ago, but when he started calling supporters to let them know, they got mad, so he considered it some more. “Running against Gov. (Butch) Otter would have been a tough race,” he said.
Otter, who like Labrador is a Republican, has indicated he plans to run for a third term.
Asked if he thinks Otter is doing a good job as governor, Labrador said, “You know, Butch Otter could do a better job, and I don’t think I’ve been shy about saying what I think.”
He said now that he’s made it clear he won’t challenge Otter, he hopes the two can talk and work together on issues.
“My door has always been and will always be open to any member of the (congressional) delegation or Legislature,” Otter said Wednesday.
The outspoken Labrador, who frequently appears on national political TV shows and has been the subject of rumors in Washington, D.C., about everything from a future speakership to a future presidential bid, served two terms in the Idaho state House before being elected to Congress in 2010. Prior to heading to Congress, he was an immigration attorney.