Congressman Raul Labrador files for Idaho gubernatorial run

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has joined the growing list of candidates running for Idaho governor in 2018.

The fourth-term congressman quietly filed the paperwork to run as a Republican gubernatorial candidate Tuesday, ending prolonged speculation the conservative politician was eyeing the top Idaho seat.

Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) announced through a press release:

“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.”

Labrador is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, who unsuccessfully ran for majority leader in 2014. Recently, he received criticism for his comment Friday that no one has died because they didn’t have access to health care — a claim disputed by health care advocates and medical experts.

Republican Lt. Gov. Brad Little, former GOP state Sen. Russ Fulcher and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist have also entered the governor’s race to succeed Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.