Congressman Labrador said on a local radio show that he decided to run for governor because he wanted to, not because the political bosses asked him. He said he is in control, not the political bosses.
That is a very interesting statement since we believe it was Congressman Labrador who was responsible for the citizens of Idaho dealing with four more unnecessary years of Butch Otter. In 2013, Congressman Labrador was approached to run for Governor of Idaho by conservative leaders of the Republican Party and Russ Fulcher would have run as his Lt. Governor. This is not a well-known fact but it’s time it was brought out into the open. Labrador was asked to run and said he would have to think about it. Well, he thought and he thought but he waited until September 2013 to make up his mind and then said, “NO THANK YOU” he would not run.
That left conservative leadership up the creek without a paddle or, in this case, without a candidate. Russ Fulcher stepped forward and said he would run and immediately started his campaign with only 7 months to primary day.
This was a grueling campaign for Russ because he was running against the loveable crony Butch Otter a two-time incumbent and the establishment Republican Party machine. The end result surprised many because Fulcher raised $106,419, garnered 43.6% of the vote taking Ada, Kootenai and Butch’s home county of Canyon with only six months of campaigning. Fulcher was a state senator and majority caucus chair in Idaho’s Senate and wound up spending $226,372 in the primary. Otter, on the other hand, raised more than $407,500 and spent $510,261. Otter outspent Fulcher by 2 to 1 and only won the race by 12,000 votes. We firmly believe if Fulcher had more time to campaign and raise money this race would have turned out entirely different with Fulcher as the winner.
What we thought was odd about this race is that Congressman Labrador did not endorse Fulcher until May 2014, one week before the primary election. We asked ourselves the question, why would he do that as he was a good friend of Fulcher’s? He could have supported Fulcher the day he decided to turn down the opportunity to run himself. Was he afraid that the establishment bosses would be upset if he ran? He said he doesn’t listen to political bosses, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they asked him politely to stay out of the race. Well, stay out he did and he never really lifted a finger to give his good friend Russ Fulcher a leg up by supporting him early on with an endorsement. This just didn’t make sense to us.
From our perspective, Labrador had planned all along to allow Fulcher to run, hoping that Russ would lose the race against Butch. This would leave him an opportunity run in the 2018 election for governor when Butch more than likely would not be a candidate because of his age, leaving an open seat. Well, Raul got his wish and we got four more years of Otter so we say, “Thank you, Congressman, for your selfishness.” Now Labrador wants to come back home to Idaho and has entered the race for Governor making it a four-way race.
What most Idahoan’s don’t know is that he will also get his congressional pension because he now has five years of the required service to be fully vested in his congressional pension. This is what we call having your cake and eating it too. Fulcher, on the other hand, will more than likely have to give up his income for a year to run. If Labrador really wanted to help the people of Idaho, he should have supported and endorsed Russ Fulcher’s candidacy early in 2013.
Our big question is will Labrador be representing the people of Idaho in the House of Representatives while he is running for Governor of the state at the same time? It’s kind of like having two jobs, one is secure with a vested pension the other is a maybe and should probably be given a lot of attention if it is to be obtained. We look at Labrador as an opportunist with only his best interests at heart, not the interests of the citizens of Idaho.
We will admit that Congressman Labrador has been on target with his conservative voting in the House for the past year or so, but was this also part of the plan to run for governor to build confidence that he is a conservative? Most people are not going to forget his voting twice for John Boehner for House Speaker. We might also note that we don’t know how much of the Washington swamp slime has rubbed off on our congressman or how up to date he is on the problems Idaho faces, but we will find out as he begins his campaign. We would bet Raul has a lot of catching up to do, and just when is he going to have time to do this campaigning if he is working for us in Washington at such an important time in history? We have two very important items pending on President Trump’s agenda—healthcare and tax reform—and it is going to take a lot of work to get these two items passed by both houses.
Fulcher has been preparing for this race for governor since his loss in 2014. He has been talking about healthcare, taxes, over regulation, growing our economy, and land management; and he has proposed solutions for each. What we have seen from Lt. Governor Little, Tom Ahlquist, and Congressman Labrador are me-too plans with little detail for solutions to get Idaho back on the right track. Little has been running around for eight years doing Otter’s bidding in the legislature. Ahlquist has been busy operating on getting more of our taxes for his urban renewal projects. Labrador has been lying in the weeds, waiting for this opportunity to get his congressional pension and become the Governor so he won’t have to go back to working as an immigration attorney.
For our money, we think Fulcher should be the favorite. He has been a successful businessman both in the technology sector at Micron and as a broker in commercial real estate. His background is that of a man who knows how to manage people and business. He has proven his conservative values with his ten years as a state senator, and he has clarity about the problems Idaho is facing, with solutions to solve them. Being a caucus leader in the House, he knows how to reach across the aisle to get things done.
Let’s not make another mistake in 2018. We think everyone is just plain tired of living in the swamp and it’s time for change. Russ Fulcher can be the Change Maker for Idaho and drain the swamp we call our Capital.
These are the current results of Kevin Miller’s poll at KIDO580 radio as of 8:00 PM on June 1st. Since the Gem State Patriot News poll last month, Fulcher gained 6 percentage points. Ahlquist has gained 7 points, Labrador has gone from 22% to 11%, and Little is down about 1%. This is only a snapshot, but it gives you an idea of where we are in the Treasure Valley with the conservative constituency.
If you would like to vote, here is the link to Kevin Millers KIDO poll: http://kidotalkradio.com/whos-idahos-next-governor
- Tommy Ahlquist — 21.09%
- Russ Fulcher — 59.52%
- Raul Labrador — 10.54%
- Brad Little — 6.8%
- Butch Otter, how about one more run? — 2.04%