Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador, who earlier this week made waves by endorsing Russ Fulcher for governor over two-term fellow Republican Gov. Butch Otter, announced today that he’s endorsing four North Idaho incumbents for re-election to the Idaho Legislature: Sen. Bob Nonini, and Reps. Vito Barbieri, Kathy Sims and Ron Mendive. Here’s the kicker: Otter has endorsed the challengers to all four: Post Falls businessman Patrick Whalen over Nonini, firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff over Barbieri, former Kootenai County Commissioner Rick Currie over Kathy Sims, and longtime Post Falls city official Terry Werner over Mendive.
You can read Labrador’s full announcement here. Here’s Nonini’s statement on the endorsements:
"I am proud to have the strong endorsement of Congressman Raúl Labrador. We worked together well in the Idaho House and support the SAME conservative principles shared by the vast majority of Idaho Republicans.
I have not supported Otter's 7+ years of failed leadership. I was adamantly opposed to welcoming ObamaCare into Idaho and, alongside then State Representative Labrador, I helped defeat the Governor's attempt in the depth of our recession to raise the gas-tax on all Idahoans. Idaho is no better off today than it was when he became governor."
Here is Otter’s endorsement statement for Whalen:
"Pat's vision for economic development and education demonstrate that he understands the issues important to northern Idaho. I appreciate Pat's philosophy of lower taxes, smaller government and better schools. Please join me in supporting Pat Whalen for the Idaho State Senate."