Dirk Kempthorne, whose connections helped Vaughn Ward become the pick of the GOP establishment in the May GOP primary, has announced his support of the man who upset Ward, Raul Labrador.
With eight days to the general election, the Labrador campaign released a statement from Kempthorne, a former Boise mayor, U.S. senator, governor and U.S. Interior secretary under President George W. Bush. The day after the election, Kempthorne will start a seven-figure job leading the lobbying group for the life insurance industry, the American Council of Life Insurers.
Ward worked on Kempthorne's Senate staff for two years in Washington, D.C., and Kempthorne spoke on Ward's behalf at his campaign kickoff at the Statehouse in January, saying, "I saw greatness in that Marine."
Said Kempthorne in the statement issued Monday morning:
"The people of Idaho have been well-served by their Republican team of elected officials in the Congress and our State Capitol. Raul Labrador will be a fine addition to that successful team when he is elected as the next Representative from Idaho’s first Congressional district. Raul Labrador’s experience in the Idaho State Legislature proves he will effectively reflect the concerns and the values of Idaho citizens as he tackles the monumental problems facing the next Congress. I urge my fellow Idahoans to vote for Raul Labrador and the entire Idaho Republican team."
Said Labrador: “I am very grateful to Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for this endorsement. His long and valued service to the people of Idaho and America is a great example for all men and women in public life. Secretary Kempthorne was esteemed by his colleagues and always represented Idahoans respectfully and with strength. I hope to serve the people of Idaho in the same manner.”
Labrador faces freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick.
You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.