Idaho Republican Mike Simpson’s influence with fellow members of Congress is what makes him a key player in this year’s election, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Rob Engstrom said Thursday.
Besides earning high marks on the chamber’s rating scale, Engstrom said, Simpson has the trust of dozens of men and women in Congress. That makes him valuable to the chamber, which can’t individually reach out to each member, Engstrom said.
Simpson is being challenged in this year’s election by Idaho Falls Republican Bryan Smith, who has the endorsements of groups such as Club for Growth, The Madison Project and the National Association of Gun Rights.
At an event at the Riverside Hotel in Garden City on Thursday, Simpson said the country’s Republican primary elections this year were “about the heart and soul of the Republican party.”
“Are we going to be the governing majority or an ideologically pure minority that can’t get anything done?” Simpson said.