State Politics

Race to replace Raul Labrador is wide open so far, poll indicates

The May 15 GOP primary for Idaho’s open 1st Congressional District seat is still seven months away. But donations are coming in and polls are going out, which means it’s time for an update.

The U.S. House race has grown to five candidates vying for the Republican nomination. Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, the incumbent, is vacating the seat to run for governor.

Here’s how much money each of the candidates has raised since entering the race, according to the latest Federal Election Commission campaign finance disclosures, which were due Oct. 16.

▪  David Leroy, a former Idaho attorney general and lieutenant governor from Boise, reported $91,227 in contributions plus a $53,813 contribution he made to himself.

▪  Russ Fulcher, a former state senator from Meridian, reported $119,144.60 in contributions along with a $35,000 personal loan.

▪  Luke Malek, a state senator and attorney from Coeur d’Alene, raised $82,814 since announcing his candidacy two months ago.

▪  Michael Snyder, of Bonners Ferry, reported $37,892.46 in contributions, including a $4,000 loan to himself.

The fifth GOP candidate, Nick Henderson of Post Falls, filed his candidacy Oct. 9 after the campaign finance reporting period ended.

Two Democratic candidates who filed for the seat — Donald Roy Miller of Meridian, and Michael William Smith of Post Falls — have not yet filed their campaign finance reports.

Idaho Politics Weekly, a Zions Bank publication, released a poll this week that it says shows no clear favorite in the GOP race.

Dan Jones and Associates in August polled 308 people who live in the 1st District. Poll results showed 17 percent supported Leroy, 9 percent supported Fulcher and 7 percent supported Malek.

That means 67 percent of people polled either did not know who they would support or were supporting someone else.

In the 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Mike Simpson faces no primary challengers at this time.

Dan Jones also polled constituents there, getting feedback from 296 of them. Of those, 48 percent wanted Simpson re-elected, 40 percent did not and 12 percent were undecided.

The polls had a margin of error of 8 percent in each district, according to Idaho Politics Weekly.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell