Club For Growth Backing One Candidate In Crowded Idaho Congressional Race

May 8, 2018

Former GOP state senator Russ Fulcher is one of seven Republicans vying for Idaho's open congressional seat in the first district. The nationally prominent Club For Growth is backing Fulcher and has invested more than half a million dollars in the effort to get him elected.
Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Russ Fulcher, a Republican hopeful for Idaho's first congressional seat, is getting significant financial support from a nationally-known group.

Club For Growth, a free-market advocacy group that promotes limited government and lower taxes, has pumped nearly $640,000 into Russ Fulcher’s effort to succeed outgoing GOP congressman Raul Labrador.

The Club’s support for Fulcher makes sense to Jasper LiCalzi, the chair of the College of Idaho’s Department of Political Economy.

“He is the most libertarian, anti-government, anti-tax person in the race,” says LiCalzi. “They also tend not to support incumbents.”

Much of the money has gone towards an advertising blitz. LiCalzi says name recognition is paramount in an open race with three Democrats and seven Republicans vying for the seat.

“The votes are going to be split so much that somebody with 30 – 35 percent of the vote could win,” LiCalzi says. “When the margin of victory is so close – because there’s so many people running – this money could really be the difference that pushes him over, and I think that’s why Club For Growth is doing this.”

Fulcher tells the Idaho Press Tribune he’s happy and thankful to receive the outside support. The Club For Growth plans to spend anywhere from five to ten million dollars on House races this campaign season.

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