Congressman Walt Minnick is a Democrat representing one of the most conservative states in the nation in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2008, Minnick upset then-Congressman Bill Sali, a Republican, to win his two-year term in Congress. Minnick is set to kick off his 2010 campaign this weekend, with stops in several areas in Idaho's 1st Congressional District, which makes up the western portion of the state and includes parts of Boise and the major cities of Nampa, Caldwell, Meridian, Eagle, Moscow, Lewiston, Coeur d'Alene, and Sandpoint.
The Minnick campaign will have several events throughout the week prior to the congressman's official press conference where he will re-launch his campaign. On Wednesday, Minnick will announce a list of more than 100 people on his official re-election committee. Minnick, who ousted Sali with the help of Republican detractors turned off by the congressman's sometimes divisive demeanor, will look to implement a bipartisan strategy again. Minnick spokesman John Foster says the campaign committee will feature Republicans and Democrats committed to his candidate's cause.
Thursday and Friday will bring new Internet tools for those looking at supporting or finding out more about Minnick. Foster will unload the new WaltMinnick.com, the official campaign website, Thursday. Foster said that the site will "serve as a one-stop-shop for information about the campaign." On Friday, the campaign will initialize efforts in social media outlets to engage potential voters and encourage them to network with others about Minnick.
The official re-launch announcement comes Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Meridian City Hall. That day will also feature an ice cream fundraiser at Stewart Farms in Canyon County and free car washes for veterans of the armed services at the Metro Express Car Wash in Meridian.
On Sunday, Minnick will take his team on the road to Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, where he will hold another press conference and meet with supporters. Monday, the congressman will travel to Nez Perce County and meet with supporters, hold another press conference, and participate in an official capacity in the county's planned memorial day events.
Minnick said that he believes his record has shown that voters in 2008 made a good choice in selecting him over Sali. "It has been an honor to spend the last 17 months serving Idaho farmers, seniors, veterans, businesses and families," he said. "I haven't been a Congressman long, but I've been a businessman most of my life. I work hard to apply that experience to my work in Congress, and hope that work shows Idaho voters that they made a good investment in electing me. I look forward to getting out on the campaign trail again to ask for their support in November."
Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide who will face Minnick in November's general election. State Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Vaughn Ward, a decorated Marine, have been battling for the past few months to get the Republican nod. Recent stories indicate Minnick holds a sizable poll lead over both men in projected November match-ups. Minnick is also winning the cash race, with more money raised and on-hand than Labrador and Ward combined.