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Labrador race not in Republicans’ Top 40 races nationally

Labrador race not in Republicans’ Top 40 races nationally

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
August 17, 2010

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) left out Idaho’s 1st Congressional District race in its first wave of 40 election races that will get receive pro-GOP television ads.

That decision could be detrimental to Republican Raul Labrador, who is looking to unseat Democrat Walt Minnick, though Labrador’s campaign spokeswoman said national GOP leaders are supporting the race.

“We’re confident that the NRCC will continue to play a role in this district,” said China Gum.  “We know that we are one of their top races.”

Labrador, a state representative from Eagle, is getting other help from national GOP groups.  He is currently on the lowest tier of the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, and the Republican National Committee is backing the Idaho Republican Party’s “Victory Campaign,” which has several staff members helping Labrador and other candidates.

An NRCC spokesman told Politico that the committee could add more candidates to its TV ad plans in later waves of its election strategy.

The NRCC’s partisan counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), has already reserved several television ad buys for Minnick in Boise and Spokane, totaling $293,000.  Minnick also held a 16 to 1 fundraising lead over Labrador at the end of June.

Minnick’s campaign spokesman, John Foster, said national political organizations won’t decide the contest between Minnick and Labrador.  “This race is not going to be about what Washington, D.C., political operatives do or do not do,” he said.

Gum said Minnick’s campaign will depend on their large lead in campaign cash and funding from the DCCC.  “They’ll need to spend every penny of that and more to try to defend his vote for Nancy Pelosi,” Gum said.

While local candidates regularly talk with national groups, Minnick and Labrador can’t offer input on the TV ads from the NRCC and DCCC.  Those ads will be classified as independent expenditures, so discussion between committees and candidates would violate campaign finance laws.

“They don’t talk to us or talk to Raul before they make those kinds of decisions,” Foster said.  “It’s purely based on the state of the race and whether or not they believe their person has a chance to win.”

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