Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Larry Craig in the 2008 election. LaRocco plans to announce his bid next Wednesday, April 11.
It’s unclear whether Craig will run for re-election or retire at age 61, so LaRocco could be running for an open seat against an unknown challenger, if not Craig.
The last Democrat who represented Idaho in the U.S. Senate was Frank Church, for whom LaRocco worked. Church was defeated by Republican Steve Symms in 1980.
Currently in Washington, D.C. lining up support for his candidacy, LaRocco told New West that “Washington, D.C. is not working and the voters of Idaho know it. We’ve had 12 years of a ‘pay to play’ mentality that needs to get corrected. The lack of oversight by our Congress has led us to numerous mess in our domestic and foreign policy. Idaho needs a voice that can fix this mess and represent all of Idaho.”
LaRocco also said that he’ll need to raise $5 million to be a serious contender. Idaho Democratic Party regulars say if anyone can raise it, it’s LaRocco. “He brings a great deal of enthusiasm and experience,” said Richard Stallings, state party chairman and a former congressman. “He’s a great campaigner — probably the best campaigner we’ve had in this state in a long time.”
Stallings and LaRocco served together in the U.S. House.
LaRocco wrote a column for New West until early March of this year, before he decided to run.