Raúl Labrador to run for Idaho governor
© Greg Nash

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) is mounting a bid for Idaho governor, the four-term congressman announced Tuesday.

"Idaho needs a proven conservative leader who will stand against the special interests and politicians that have picked the winners and losers in our state Capitol for too long," Labrador said in a statement.

"Idaho needs a strong leader who will make government fair for everyone. Idaho needs a governor who will provide a new vision, a new approach and new leadership."

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The announcement ends months of speculation that the Idaho Republican could throw his name into an already crowded field of gubernatorial candidates. Labrador, a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, reportedly explored a gubernatorial run in 2014, but ultimately decided against it.

Labrador was also considered a potential pick to serve as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE's Interior secretary. That job eventually went to former Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.). 

Labrador’s gubernatorial announcement came less than a week after lawmakers in the House narrowly approved a plan to repeal large parts of the Affordable Care Act. The Idaho Republican opposed an initial version of the measure, which failed in March, but ultimately threw his support behind an amended bill.

The version of the American Health Care Act that passed last week would allow states to waive ObamaCare’s rule barring insurers from charging customers with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage.

Labrador stirred controversy defending the healthcare bill during a town hall meeting last week when he told constituents that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare.”

Labrador won reelection in 2016 by more than 120,000 votes, and his seat is likely to stay in Republican hands. 

--This report was last updated at 1:30 p.m.