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Republican Labrador secures victory in Idaho attorney general race

Idaho

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Former Republican congressman Raúl Labrador has secured his win against Democratic opponent Tom Arkoosh in the race for Idaho attorney general.

With all but two of Idaho’s 44 counties fully reporting, according to the Idaho secretary of state’s office, Labrador led Wednesday with 62% of the votes, while Arkoosh received 38%. Labrador was ahead by nearly 140,000 votes as of 9 a.m.

Labrador claimed victory in a speech at the Republican rally Tuesday night.

“I’ve been out of this game for a few years and I’m excited to fight for you once again,” Labrador said. “The people of Idaho deserve an attorney general who understands that his job is to represent the people and bureaucracy of Idaho.”

Labrador is a former state legislator and U.S. representative who ran for governor in 2018, when he lost in the GOP primary to Brad Little. Since then, he has served as the head of the Idaho GOP and as a member of the Central District Health board.

He also took a jab at fellow Republicans who voiced their support for Arkoosh in a “short message for the media.”

“Stop listening to the 50 Republicans who think that they’re relevant, because tonight showed that they have no relevance in the future of Idaho,” Labrador said. “This race was about the future. It was not about the past, and together we will make Idaho a better place for our families, a better place for our businesses, and a better place for our children.”

Labrador defeated longtime attorney general Lawrence Wasden in the May primary after painting himself as “a fighter.” He criticized the incumbent for not involving Idaho in a lawsuit that sought to overturn 2020 presidential election results in swing states that voted for Joe Biden.

Labrador has repeated false allegations that the 2020 election was “stolen in plain sight.”

Arkoosh, a former Gem County prosecutor and longtime Boise lawyer, joined the race late when the Democratic candidate withdrew. Arkoosh said he was previously an unaffiliated voter but didn’t support what he viewed as Labrador’s politicization of the attorney general position.

Arkoosh earned support from dozens of prominent Republicans, including former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and former Republican attorney general and Idaho Supreme Court justice Jim Jones. In a speech at the Democrats’ rally Tuesday evening, Arkoosh thanked his Republican supporters, as well as the Democrats who welcomed him to their party.

“I had a tremendous amount of Republican backers because they recognize that the train is off the rails,” Arkoosh said.

Labrador has said he’ll immediately delegate some attorneys to represent the Idaho Legislature and advise state lawmakers on crafting bills that will withstand legal challenges. He also plans to create a solicitor general position to focus on “one-on-one” consumer protection cases.

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