Letters From the West

Labrador says he’s not running for governor, will seek reelection

Rep Raul Labrador speaks a a town meeting.

Rep Raul Labrador speaks a a town meeting.

Republican Rep. Raul Labrador said Wednesday he will not run for Idaho governor.

The second-term congressman said he is making a difference in Washington with the deficit cut in half since he came to the House. He wants to stay where he is having influence.

He still wasn’t ready to endorse Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who already has announced he plans to seek re-election in 2014.

“Butch Otter could do a better job,” Labrador said. “Hopefully with the leadership of the legislature they can do a better job.”

He said he wants to talk to Otter now that they are not viewed as competitors. He had one issue he thinks is important.

“I think we are suffering because our tax rates are too high,” he said.

Labrador, 45, is serving his seventh year in public office, four years in the Idaho House and 2 1/2 in the U.S. House. Otter, 71, has been continuously in statewide or federal elected office — lieutenant governor, 1st District congressman and governor — for 26 years. Otter also served four years in the Idaho House in the 1970s.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West