Palin to stump for struggling Idaho GOP hopeful

Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) is headed to Idaho on Friday to campaign for a Republican congressional candidate trying to recover from a series of political stumbles.

Palin will stump for Vaughn Ward, who faces a competitive GOP primary next week in his bid to challenge first-term Rep. Walt Minnick (D) in Idaho’s first district. Ward’s campaign confirmed Palin’s visit to the Idaho Spokesman-Review.

A heavy favorite who has been promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, Ward shook up his campaign staff late last week after a spate of negative press, including a reprimand from the Marines for wearing his military uniform during a campaign ad, along with a report that the “Issues” section of his campaign website contained passages lifted verbatim from other Republicans. His opponent has also criticized him for not voting in the 2008 presidential election despite working as the Nevada state director for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign.

Ward’s opponent in the May 25 primary is state Rep. Raul Labrador. The district is one of the most Republican in the nation to be held by a Democrat, but the incumbent Minnick has the distinction of being the only Democrat endorsed by the national Tea Party.