Raul Labrador’s choice of venues for his campaign kickoff tour this week gave rise to some speculation that he had landed the support of major GOP campaign funder Frank VanderSloot, owner of Melaleuca in Idaho Falls – but he hasn’t. Labrador's Boise announcement this afternoon will be at the West Boise home of Ted and Jan Johnson, his in-laws, and wife Becca’s childhood home; his Post Falls event tomorrow will be at the American Legion Hall; and his Idaho Falls event Thursday at Melaleuca.
But when asked if the event means Labrador’s won an endorsement from VanderSloot or Melaleuca, company spokesman Tony Lima said no. “Melaleuca’s Event Center at its Global Headquarters is by far the best event center in Bonneville County,” Lima said in an emailed statement. “We rent the facility to groups that need it. Community events at Melaleuca should not be interpreted to be an endorsement by Melaleuca or any of its officers including Mr. VanderSloot. Neither Melaleuca nor Mr. VanderSloot have made a public endorsement of any of the candidates that will be participating in the 2018 Idaho governor’s race.”