COTTONWOOD, Ida. – Idaho 1st congressional district incumbent Walt Minnick (D) is on the ropes as election day nears. Republican challenger Raul Labrador has pulled to within three percentage points of the first term Democrat which places the race in a statistical dead heat. Labrador, an immigration attorney from Boise Idaho, is confident of a win on November 2nd based – partly – on his come from behind win over Vaughn Ward, a Marine reservist who had been heavily recruited by the national Republican elite. Ward had garnered the support of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, but it was the two term Idaho State legislator Labrador who turned the heads of the Idaho Tea Party.
In an election year that spells trouble for the Democratic party, Minnick has run as a virtual independent. The incumbent rarely mentions his party affiliation and regularly touts his conservative voting record. That may not be enough in the traditionally Republican 1st congressional district. As a Democrat, Minnick holds to the liberal social policies of his party while Labrador is known in the state for his rock solid conservative voting record on fiscal and social issues.
Minnick has emphasized his business experience and ridiculed Labrador’s work as an immigration attorney, claiming Labrador is in favor of an open border policy. Labrador, of Puerto Rican descent, denies the charge and has stated that the first step toward meaningful immigration reform is to enforce the federal laws already on the books, making it unlawful for any foreigner to be in the country without proper documentation.
With the race a statistical dead heat, Idaho Republicans and Democrats alike are urging the party faithful to go to the polls on November 2nd.
Sources: Idaho Statesman