Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig said Rep. Walt Minnick’s political stance has changed since the 1996 race for the U.S. Senate between the two men. Craig also said he’s backing Minnick’s challenger in the November general election, Republican state Rep. Raul Labrador of Eagle.
Craig served Idaho’s 1st Congressional District in the 1980s before winning a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1990. He successfully defeated Minnick in a 1996 re-election bid. He eventually left office in 2008, not seeking re-election after a scandal involving a charge of disorderly conduct at a Minnesota airport in 2007.
Craig’s charges were rejected by Minnick’s campaign spokesman, John Foster. “I don’t know that Larry Craig is the best person to judge Walt’s political views,” Foster said. “Walt’s record and work is indicative of Idaho being fortunate to have the right man at the right time.”
Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog Democrats caucus, which is more fiscally conservative than most of the party’s members in Congress. He also told the Washington Post that he initially wanted to run as an independent in the 1996 race against Craig, but was convinced by former Gov. Cecil Andrus to run as a Democrat.
Craig said he’s been chatting with Labrador about helping out his campaign this year. He told IdahoReporter.com he’s consulting several candidates for Congress in other states, including Republican hopefuls John Kasich of Ohio and Dan Coats of Indiana, and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
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