Idaho's newest member of Congress, Rep. Raul Labrador, started his re-election effort by raising $68,755 in the last five and a half weeks of 2010. Two-thirds of that money – $46,308 – came from out-of-state supporters.
Labrador's campaign said it was happy with the fundraising total. “We’re very pleased that so many are supporting Congressman Labrador’s re-election campaign this early in the cycle—even before he asks the voters to re-elect him,” Labrador's political director China Gum said in a news release. Gum didn't have a comment on the share of money coming from outside the state.
Labrador was heavily outspent in his successful race for Congress against Democrat Walt Minnick. Minnick raised most of his money out of state, though he also bested Labrador in contributions from Idahoans.
Minnick's large fundraising advantage and out-of-state money became a campaign issue during the race. Gum told IdahoReporter.com last year that Minnick's money came from people who are out of step with Idaho voters, including Wall Street fat cats and Nancy Pelosi-style liberals.
Contributors to Labrador in late November and December include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which backed Minnick in the race. Travelers Insurance, AT&T, and the National Rifle Association also contributed to Labrador's campaign warchest.
Labrador ended the race with less than $6,000 in campaign cash, which was replenished to almost $40,000 by the end of 2010. Labrador has held at least two fundraisers in Washington, D.C., according to the Sunlight Foundation, including one right before President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.
Labrador is also scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which will feature many potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012 and other conservative leaders.
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- Raul Labrador represents Idaho's 1st Congressional District, Raul Labrador represents Idaho's 1st Congressional District