Republican Congressman Raul Labrador has announced that he will be running for Idaho Governor in 2018. The conservative lawmaker and member of the House Freedom Caucus filed paperwork today for his candidacy.
Rep. Labrador has been involved in politics for the last decade, establishing his name as a conservative leader and sometimes a voice against his own party’s leadership. Prior to winning his first election, he practiced immigration law in Idaho. He won his first election in 2006 to the Idaho House of Representatives with 65.55% of the vote and won in 2008 with a larger percentage at 69.1%.
He would run in 2010 for Congress against first-term Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick 51%-41%and win re-election in 2012 against former National Football League wide receiver Jimmy Ferris 63%-31%.
After then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, he resigned his leadership position. Rep. Labrador would unsuccessfully challenge Kevin McCarthy for the position. Despite his first failed jump for a congressional leadership position, he would still go onto win re-election with 65% of the vote in his district.
As 2016 came around, Rep. Labrador was named the western states’ chairman of the Rand Paul presidential campaign. When Senator Paul dropped out of the Republican primary, Rep. Labrador shifted his support to Senator Ted Cruz, who would go on to win the Idaho primary.
After then-candidate Donald Trump won the Republican primary, Rep. Labrador supported his party’s nominee. As Trump won the Presidency, Rep. Labrador would again win re-election, this time with 68.2% of the vote.
While he will finish out his term while running, in leaving Congress, Rep. Labrador leaves behind an established position as a conservative leader who is willing to speak up against leadership. In each of his congressional candidacies, he’s increased his general election percentage from 51% in 2010 to 68.2% in 2016. His popularity in his district and in Idaho will help his candidacy for Governor.
President Donald Trump won 59.2% of the vote, which also help the Republican Congressman as he seeks to lead the State of Idaho.
He was a finalist for President Trump’s Secretary of the Interior but ultimately did not get the position.
The healthcare debate has put Rep. Labrador in the center of controversy in both parties over the last couple of months. Initially, he drew the ire of President Trump after the House Freedom Caucus resisted the proposed healthcare legislation in March. The President blamed Rep. Labrador, as well as Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows for not getting on board.
More recently, he joined and supported the amended measure, drawing the ire of Democrats who are seizing on the opportunity to attack Republicans. He also recently stated at a Town Hall that “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care”, which drew sharp criticisms from the mainstream media and liberals alike.
Despite these recent controversies, it doesn’t appear it will affect Congressman Raul Labrador back home in Idaho. He has performed will in elections at the state and federal level, growing his winning percentages each time. Republicans appear to stand a good chance with him running on the ticket for Governor.