ID Rep: Tea Partier Labrador Smokes GOP’s Young Gun

Last night, Tea Party candidate Raul Labrador defeated the Republicans’ hand-picked man, Vaughn Ward, to win the GOP nomination for Idaho's First Congressional District. Labrador won by a huge margin, taking 47.8 percent of the vote to Ward’s 38.8 percent, with most precincts reporting and three other candidates nabbing small shares of the vote. Labrador will take on Democrat Rep. Walt Minnick in the general election. Republicans view this district as one of the top pick-up targets for this cycle.

Ward was the establishment candidate in the race, with a large fund-raising advantage and the strong backing of Washington Republicans. He was one of the first NRCC "Young Guns" recruits. His campaign, though, suffered from a series of bizarre stumbles, including appearing at a debate to be unsure of the legal status of Puerto Rico. Labrador was the insurgent. He received the endorsement of the local Tea Party in Boise and campaigned as a strong conservative.

Labrador is also a man with some interesting views. According to the Tea Party survey he filled out, Labrador believes the following:

  • We should return our currency to the gold standard.

  • We should repeal the 17th Amendment, which would take away people's right to directly elect their United States senators.

  • We should withdraw the United States from the United Nations.

The NRCC failed to get its chosen candidate nominated in a crucial district. Minnick might benefit from Labrador’s upset victory, depicting him as outside the mainstream.

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