Idaho’s Labrador, Crapo, Risch mourn Lady Thatcher’s passing

The Anglophile in the all-GOP Idaho Congressional delegation, Rep. Raul Labrador issued a statement Monday afternoon marking the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at 87.

Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo weighed in on social media.

Labrador, 45, wasn’t born when Thatcher was elected to Parliament in 1959. When she became education minister in 1970, Labrador was two years old and living in his native Puerto Rico. When Thatcher became prime minister in 1979, Labrador was about a year away from moving to Las Vegas, where he was to discover the appeal of the newly elected President Ronald Reagan.

Thatcher’s world-changing role as a conservative who governed Britain longer than any 20th century prime minister and as a close ally of Reagan helped shape Labrador’s world view, breaking with his single mother’s allegiance to the Kennedys.

Said Labrador in his statement:

“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Lady Thatcher led her country by embracing free market principles, advocating for personal responsibility and a more limited government. She worked with President Ronald Reagan to end the Cold War and inspired a generation of leaders through her convictions. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this time.”

Idaho’s other members of Congress didn’t issue news releases on Thatcher.

Crapo twice tweeted: “Saddened to hear of the death of Margaret Thatcher, an inspirational leader who served Britain and the world so well.”

And: “May Margaret Thatcher’s legacy continue to inspire us all. My prayers are with her family and all of the British people.”

Tweeted Risch: “Sad to hear of Lady Thatcher’s passing. Her work with Pres. Reagan changed the direction of the world during a difficult time in history.”

Risch, 69, was in the Idaho Senate when Thatcher was elected leader of the Conservative opposition in 1975. Crapo, 61, and Rep. Mike Simpson, 62, both joined the Idaho Legislature in 1984, shortly after Thatcher won her second term as PM.


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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