Former state senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian is bowing out of the race for governor and pursuing a run for Congress.
After spending the last nine months running to replace Governor Butch Otter, Fulcher now has his sights set on filling Raul Labrador’s shoes in Washington D.C. The five-term Republican lawmaker released a video online making the announcement.
Sitting behind a black desk with a white backdrop, Fulcher tells the camera, “Unlike the situation when I announced for governor, today the office in most need of an experienced conservative candidate is the first congressional district.”
In a press release out Thursday morning, Fulcher says he and Labrador – who’s running for governor – have worked together for years. Fulcher claims the duo can best serve Idaho citizens by working in complementary roles. Labrador has already endorsed Fulcher for his Congressional bid.
In the video, Fulcher frames his departure from the governor’s race as a good thing. He says the four major candidates for the office of governor significantly overlap in their conservative philosophies. “My continued presence in the race,” Fulcher says, “could actually have the effect of splintering the support of conservatives.”
Even with his exit from the race, several high-profile Republicans are still running for governor; Raul Labrador, Lt. Governor Brad Little and businessman Tommy Ahlquist are all vying to fill Idaho’s top executive job.
So far, Fulcher faces one GOP challenger for the open seat in Congress. Past lieutenant governor and former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy announced his candidacy last month.
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