A Boise lawyer will run with Democratic party support against Idaho U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. James Piotrowski, a first-time candidate, made the announcement Monday in Julia Davis Park.
Piotrowski said he was “frustrated” by Labrador’s “personal obstructionist brand” of politics. Labrador is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hard-line conservative lawmakers who led last year’s ouster of House Speaker John Boehner and have threatened government shutdowns to accomplish their policy goals.
Piotrowki said Labrador’s advocacy of a state takeover of federally-owned public land was “the final straw” that moved him to run. He initially approached Democrats about running in 2018, but said they “made some compelling arguments as to why I should go ahead and run now.”
“Frankly, I think that Raul Labrador is too extreme for Idaho,” Piotrowski said. “Yes, he’s popular among a certain segment of the voting public, but he’s also got detractors, and taking on this public lands issue has been a terrible mistake for him.”
Piotrowski, 48, specializes in civil rights, workers rights and disability law. He represented a health care provider in a lawsuit against the state of Idaho over Medicaid funding. Last August, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision and ruled 5-4 that providers can’t sue the state over its Medicaid reimbursement formula.
Labrador is running for a fourth term. Piotrowski faces a Democratic primary first. He and his wife have a teen-aged son and daughter.
Idaho's 1st congressional district covers northern and southwest Idaho, including part of Boise.