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Former Rep. Larry LaRocco

Former Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco to Run for U.S. Senate

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.

About Jill Kuraitis

Jill Kuraitis is an award-winning journalist who specializes in news of Idaho and the Rocky Mountain West. Her B.A. in theatre management is from UC Santa Barbara, and she went on to work in theatre, film, and politics before writing became a career. Kuraitis has two excellent grown children and lives in Boise with her husband of 30 years, abundant backyard wildlife, and two huge hairy dogs.

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  1. If you haven’t heard Larry speak about his vision to Idaho the West and the United States, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s rare we’re blessed with a person of his ability, wisdom and energy to lead us. Considering the balance of power we have in Congress now vs. those we have representing Idaho now, Larry would do wonders for Idaho.

  2. LaRocco could be running for an open seat against an unknown challenger, if not Craig.

    Jill… you need to keep up on “current events” a little better!

    There’s an obscure politician named Robert Vasquez; I believe he’s from Canyon County. Not sure what his positions are on the issues. (just kiddin’!)

    Mr. Vasquez announced months ago that he would challenge Larry Craig in the primary. Of course, there might not be a primary if Craig decides not to go again.

  3. LaRocco v Vaquez: My dream race.

  4. bikeboy: I stand by my statement. 🙂 When/if Vasquez announces, I’ll cover it. But at this point, LaRocco is declaring and Craig, Vasquez or any others are not. Therefore LaRocco’s challenger is indeed unknown.

  5. Jill, as difficult as it is to agree with bikeboy you might go here: http://www.vasquezforidaho.org/ Looks like he’s running to me. LaRocco has not formally announced yet but both he and Vasquez are running. That does not mean that if Craig fails to run Vasquez will be the Republican candidate. In that event I predict that it will be Mike Simpson, not Vasquez. Maybe even…Senator Sali. Just try and make your lips form that phrase.

  6. I believe Vasquez actually announced last fall. Not that anyone cared.

  7. Yup. I stand corrected. Vasquez announced last fall. Apparently he ticked off some Republicans by announcing just a few days after the death of Helen Chenoweth.

    The filing date for the 2008 primary isn’t until March 2008, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office. A long, long election season….

  8. Dear Editor:

    Can you please remove my previous comment? If Sisyphus is agreeing with me, maybe I need to re-think this thing!

    (Just funnin’! What a boring world it would be, if we all thought alike, huh?)

    Wow! Simpson vs. Vasquez vs. Sali in the primary? Simpson is obviously the “liberal,” but who’s the “conservative”??