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Labrador to join Young Guns
Politico ^ | 8/6/10 | Kasie Hunt

Posted on 08/07/2010 4:24:47 AM PDT by randita

Labrador to join Young Guns

By: Kasie Hunt and Daniel Strauss

August 6, 2010 07:23 PM EDT

After months of taking aim at Washington Republicans, Idaho GOP congressional candidate Raul Labrador says he’s finally agreed to join their arsenal of Young Guns.

Labrador came to Washington this week, he said, and top GOP leaders personally asked him to join the program, which helps raise funds and coach candidates in tough races. “Kevin McCarthy himself asked me, and Lynn Westmoreland asked me,” Labrador told POLITICO, referring to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment and redistricting vice-chairmen.

“They asked me to reconsider my [earlier] decision” to opt out, he said.

The NRCC confirmed that Labrador had been in talks with the committee. “He has changed his mind and he decided,” spokeswoman Joanna Burgos said.

The committee announced Friday that Labrador would be part of the program’s entry-level tier, dubbed “On the Radar.” That development closed the loop on the latest in a series of awkward exchanges between Labrador and the House GOP’s campaign arm.

Labrador wasn’t the NRCC’s first choice for the race against Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, and scored an upset primary victory over national GOP favorite Vaughn Ward by nine percentage points.

In the aftermath of that win, relations between Labrador and the committee remained uneasy, and just two weeks ago the Labrador campaign still insisted they had no interest in help from the NRCC—nor did they need it.

“It was our decision to not join the Young Guns program,” Labrador campaign spokeswoman China Gum told the Idaho Statesman.

But that was a switch from earlier in the campaign: Labrador first joined Young Guns back before Idaho’s May primary, but he didn’t meet the fundraising goals he needed to reach the program’s first tier. After he won the primary, the committee declined to add him to the list.

Then he was caught on tape criticizing Minority Leader John Boehner. “The problem is that John Boehner and the establishment in Washington D.C. failed us a few years back. That's why we have Obama and a Democratic Congress right now,” Labrador told a crowd of conservative activists. He eventually walked back the remark, telling POLITICO: “I understand I cannot win without their [the NRCC’s] help.”

The new, friendlier arrangement reached between Labrador and the NRCC will help Republicans ramp up efforts in a heavily Republican district long considered a top target this November. But they face an increasingly difficult race against Minnick, who has carefully courted support from the business community—he won an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce— and has one of the most conservative voting records in the House Democratic Caucus.

Still, the Young Guns program should help him with much-needed fundraising: Minnick’s sitting on more than $1.1 million in cash, a sum more than 16 times larger than Labrador’s $68,789.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story attributed to China Gum a paragraph that should not have been attributed to Gum. It has also been updated to reflect new information.

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Idaho
KEYWORDS: idaho; khr; labrador; minnick
Anticipating the cute puppy pictures...
1 posted on 08/07/2010 4:24:48 AM PDT by randita
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To: randita

Rs need to listen to the base. Not the toetapping Dc consultanst.

2 posted on 08/07/2010 4:46:01 AM PDT by rrrod (at home in Medellin Colombia)
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To: randita

Labrador is unfit for office - guy’s a total nut. Why do Republicans insist on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

3 posted on 08/07/2010 5:48:47 AM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: Alter Kaker
Labrador is a GREAT conservative guy.

Idaho people knew it because he had a record of voting conservatively. Why do you think ALL the conservative law makers and Idaho Republican grassroots supported him.

He certainly was not bought, and could not buy the election.
4 posted on 08/09/2010 5:48:16 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: Delphinium
I absolutely HATE Walt Minnick..and now he has come out with this false fake phoney negative tv add....

I do not live in Idaho...(close)...

I've donated...

may I suggest that if anyone needs to be booted its Walt Minnick even though he voted safely in he house, he believe Rats are better for Idaho....

I am hoping that Raul is Mormon, and I am assuming so...

he's got a higher rating than minnick from the NRA.....

so I am hopeing those two factors play big and get him elected although Minnie Mouse is way ahead in money and support....why,I don't know...

5 posted on 09/18/2010 10:13:55 PM PDT by cherry
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