Four Republican candidates have received endorsements and financial support from one of the stars of the Republican Party, former Massachusetts governor and president contender Mitt Romney. It is the second time in this election cycle that a national figure has exerted influence into Idaho’s elections.
During the primary election, Vaughn Ward tried to use a superstar of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, to bolster support for his campaign. Palin was the running mate of Arizona Sen. John McCain during his run at the White House. McCain beat Romney for GOP presidential bid early in the primary elections. Following his defeat, Romney formed the Free and Strong America Political Action Committee (PAC). Thursday, that PAC announced that Romney has endorsed and donated to four Republican candidates on the ballot in November's general election in Idaho, including Labrador, Gov. Butch Otter, Sen. Mike Crapo, and Rep. Mike Simpson.
In an announcement Thursday on the PAC's website, Romney said that the four stand up for Republican principles of lower spending and limited government. "Rather than focusing on getting our economy back on track, far too many of our leaders are more interested in promoting policies that will expand the size of government and drive us further into debt. We need leaders who will stand up to the culture of higher spending, higher taxes, and higher debt, and that is why I am proud to endorse Governor Otter, Senator Crapo, Congressman Simpson, and Raul Labrador,” said Romney.
The Free and Strong America PAC gave $5,000 each to Otter, who faces Democrat Keith Allred, and Crapo, who will square off with Tom Sullivan of Driggs in November. Labrador, set to take on first-term Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick, and Simpson, who faces Brian Schad, an Independent from Idaho Falls, and Mike Crawford, a Democrat from Mountain Home, each received $2,500 in Romney money.
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