Labrador says he opted out of NRCC Young Guns program

Idaho state Rep. Raul Labrador (R) said Monday that he wasn’t included on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s latest list of “Young Guns” because he opted out of the program earlier in the year.

Labrador, who defeated the NRCC’s favored candidate Vaughn Ward in a May primary, is challenging freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) in November.    

Last week the NRCC added another 33 candidates to the lower levels of its Young Guns program, but Labrador wasn’t among them. That drew the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which suggested the omission meant the district is falling off the NRCC’s radar. Minnick holds one of the most conservative districts in the country.

According to the Idaho Reporter, Labrador now says he didn’t want to be a part of the candidate program, but didn’t offer a specific reason.  

“I’ve still met with them and still met their financial goals,” Labrador told the paper. 

Labrador also missed out an earlier round of Young Gun promotions in June.

He has reportedly had a tense relationship with the committee. He campaigned vigorously against Ward, railing against him as a Washington establishment candidate. And Labrador was stood up by NRCC officials when he came to Washington in December, according to the Idaho Statesman.

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