State Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, looks to have a more lively campaign in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District, as he announced Wednesday that he is bringing on blogger and political expert Dennis Mansfield to serve as his press secretary. Labrador’s campaign went silent for more than a month, from March 23 to April 26.
Mansfield, who, in 2000 ran for the seat that Labrador and fellow Republicans Vaughn Ward and Harley Brown now seek, endorsed Labrador on his blog early Wednesday morning because he believes Labrador stands "head and shoulders" above Ward. In the same post, Mansfield, who has been critical of Ward’s use of his military uniform in campaign ads and his recent property tax woes, offered to help Labrador in his fight to win the nomination.
Here is the full text of the announcement:
The Labrador for Congress campaign announced today that it has appointed Dennis Mansfield to serve as press secretary for the campaign.
“I am delighted to accept Dennis’ help,” said Labrador. “Dennis brings a lot of political and organizational experience to the campaign.”
Mansfield has an extensive political history in Idaho – including running as a candidate himself in 2000 for the 1st District GOP nomination that Labrador now seeks.
“As a conservative, I’ve become convinced that Raul Labrador is the right guy for Idaho,” Mansfield said in a prepared statement. “Raul is a high quality person. Not only does he share the values of the 1st District, he has a substantial public record to prove it. I just want to roll up my sleeves and give Raul a hand in getting his message and record out to the grassroots.”
Mansfield played an important role in Helen Chenoweth’s come-from-behind 1st district primary win in 1994, and sees similarities to the present contest.
“Like Helen Chenoweth, Raul has a personal charm which wins people over once they get to know him,” Mansfield observed. “The grassroots momentum building under Labrador feels a lot like the uprising of 1994. Hopefully, Idaho will be blessed once again by a genuine conservative leader.”
Labrador has refused to comment on why his campaign went quiet for silent for the month-long period, though he and his campaign manager parted ways. Labrador, along with Ward, is scheduled to appear at a Republican congressional forum Thursday in Nampa and a forum sponsored by Tea Party Boise Inc. in Eagle on Saturday night. The event in Eagle will also feature other candidates for Congress, including Democrats and Independents. Voters will decide on May 25 which Republican candidate will face incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District this November.