Democratic state Rep. Ringo to challenge Labrador for Congress

Seven-term Democratic state Rep. Shirley Ringo of Moscow will run for Congress in 2014, reports The Lewiston Tribune’s Bill Spence.

The news comes five days after GOP Congressman Raul Labrador ended almost 2 1/2 years of speculation that he might run for governor next year. Labrador served with Ringo in the Idaho House before being elected to Congress in 2010.

Ringo said she had already decided not to seek another term in Boise and that she believes Labrador could be vulnerable as a tea party favorite who has deep differences with the state’s other GOP House member, eight-term Rep. Mike Simpson.

 “I think there are some moderate Republicans who are disgusted with the party’s hard shift to the right,” Ringo told the Tribune. “That could open some doors, and I’m eager to test that and see how wide those doors can go.”

Ringo, 72, is a longtime member of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and a retired math teacher.

Labrador, 45, first must get by a primary opponent, newcomer Michael Greenway, a 24-year-old BSU political science student who criticized Labrador’s attempt to oust Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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