On Twitter and Facebook, the campaign for Vaughn Ward announced that it will be bringing Republican superstar Sarah Palin to Boise to stump for Ward. Palin endorsed Ward earlier this year, along with two other veterans of the armed services who are running for U.S. Congress.
This message sent out through Ward's Facebook and Twitter accounts Tuesday afternoon:
Sarah Palin will visit Boise on Friday, May 21 to campaign for Vaughn! Stay tuned for further details...
New Ward spokesman Mike Tracy, who took the reins of the communication arm of the campaign after Ryan O'Barto, the former campaign manager, resigned after several miscues in the media, said that he is still waiting for exact details on Palin's visit. Tracy said that information on Palin's appearance will be available as soon as the campaign receives it.
Ward's opponent, state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, is likely none too happy with the impending visit by Palin. Labrador's press secretary, Dennis Mansfield, sent a pre-emptive e-mail to supporters Tuesday morning critical of the visit, which at that time had yet to be confirmed by the Ward campaign. Mansfield admitted in the message that he would likely go and see Palin, as would many of Labrador's followers. “I’ll bet a lot of our supporters would go to bask in her star power,” Mansfield said. “She’s pretty cool." Mansfield doesn't believe it will do much to help the Ward campaign, which has had problems with authenticity in the past two weeks. "When the stage lights go out and the theatrical smoke and fog subsides – Idaho conservatives will still be wondering whether Vaughn Ward is what he says he is.” Mansfield said the Ward campaign was desperate to use Palin's star power as a way to save it from defeat on May 25.
Ward and Labrador will square off in the primary election on May 25. Whichever man wins there moves on to face Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick in Idaho's 1st Congressional District in November.