Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) told The Hill on Friday that he isn’t thinking about running for Senate and that he won't launch a primary challenge against Sen. Mike CrapoMike CrapoOvernight Finance: Biz groups endorse Trump's Labor pick | New CBO score coming before health bill vote | Lawmakers push back on public broadcasting cuts Senate Banking panel seeks proposals for economic growth GOP lawmakers lead way in holding town halls MORE (R-Idaho) in 2016.
Labrador twice told The Hill that he’s not thinking about the Senate race and was adamant that he doesn't intend to primary Crapo.
The three-term lawmaker unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last year for the House majority leader post, and Labrador has been a frequent leader for conservative causes.
Rumors have been swirling for months that Labrador could potentially enter the primary election against the senator, who is up for reelection to the Senate in 2016.
Labrador said Friday that there’s no tension between himself and Crapo and that the two have a strong personal and working relationship.
Last summer, Labrador hired a well-known and aggressive Idaho political reporter to act as his press secretary, stoking speculation that he was staffing up to make a play for the Senate.
Crapo announced shortly after that he’d seek a fourth term. The early announcement was viewed by some as a message to Labrador to stay away.
Crapo is the third-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. He has at times run into opposition from fiscally conservative groups for his legislative initiatives, like a 2014 housing reform bill he sponsored, which further stoked speculation that he could be a ripe primary target.
Crapo also pleaded guilty in to a DUI charge in Alexandria, Va.