Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt is supporting Vaughn Ward in the Republican primary for the state's 1st Congressional District. Batt served as governor during the late 1990s after being the chairman of the state Republican Party. He was also Idaho's lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1983, and served as a state legislator from southwest Idaho in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Mr. Ward is an intelligent young man with unlimited energy," Batt said in a statement released by Ward's campaign Tuesday. "He is an outstanding war hero and has served on the staff of Senator Kempthorne. He will not have a steep learning curve. He has my full support.”
Batt's comments on Ward's experience come after former Congressman Bill Sali said Ward lacks the experience to serve in Washington, D.C. Sali is supporting state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Star.
Ward said he was proud to get Batt's endorsement. "Gov. Batt is one of the most well-respected leaders in the Idaho Republican Party and his support means a great deal to me," Ward said in a news release. "Once elected, I pledge to continue his fiscally responsible policies by fighting to cut spending and reduce the federal deficit."
Ward, Labrador, and three other Republicans are competing in the May 25 GOP primary. The winner of that race will challenge current U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick in the November election. Read Ward's full statement on the endorsement here.