In an expected move by many Idaho insiders, Congressman Raul Labrador has filed papers to run for governor according to several sources.    The congressman's run will add another candidate to a qualified and competitive field.  It will create an open seat in Idaho's First Congressional District.  Labrador won the seat in a historic upset of then Congressman Walter Minnick.  Several former elected officials and activists have expressed an interest in running for that seat.

This year's race for governor has started exceptionally early.  The first two candidates to file were Lt. Governor Brad Little and Former State Senator Russ Fulcher.  Boise physician and developer Tommy Ahlquist filed last month.  The primary election is next May.  Most analysts expect this to be the most competitive and costly gubernatorial race in the history politics.

Labrador issued a statement concerning his decision:

"Running for Governor of the great state of Idaho takes serious preparation. To comply with both the spirit and the letter of the law, I have filed the appropriate campaign finance form required to register as a candidate for Governor. I'll be making a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

Idaho needs a proven conservative leader who will stand against the special interests and politicians that have picked the winners and losers in our state Capitol for too long. Idaho needs a strong leader who will make government fair for everyone.  Idaho needs a governor who will provide a new vision, a new approach and new leadership."

  Lt. Brad Little issued his statement responding to Labrador's run.

“Here in Idaho, we are leading the nation in job growth, we are in the top three for best places to own a business, and wages for Idahoans have been growing at twice the national average. Our conservative Republican leadership in Idaho is leading Idahoans into prosperity.” 

“Idaho is not Washington DC, and I would like to welcome Congressman Labrador back home to the place where we balance our budget and conservative ideals guide us each day. Idahoans, including myself, look forward to hearing from Congressman Labrador about the accomplishments he has made while being in congress for over 6 years.”

  Former State Senator Russ Fulcher issued his statement:

I welcome my friend Congressman Labrador to the race, and wish him and his family all the best. In 2014, he endorsed me in my race for Governor, stating he supported me because of my “political courage and fresh ideas.” He said that I would “work to reduce our dependence on Washington DC, make the tax code more competitive, reduce regulation, and give Idaho the chance to fulfill its promise.” I suspect he still believes that.

 

For the next year I will be traveling the state, meeting with Idahoans, listening to their concerns, and learning how I can best serve you as Idaho’s next Governor.