Tags: Walt Minnick

Slew of Defeated House Democrats Not Interested in 2012 Comeback Bids


Sometimes, after a politician is defeated, they don’t come back — or at least not the next cycle:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said last month that he had contacted former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) about running for her old seat in 2012 . . .

Unfortunately for Israel, she may have other plans. After joining a Washington law firm earlier this month, Herseth Sandlin on Thursday dissolved her campaign committee — a move that generally means a candidate has no plans to make a quick return to politics.

In fact, Herseth Sandlin is just the latest 2010 loser to close down his or her committee; she joins a host of former Democratic members from conservative-leaning districts who have done the same.

Former Blue Dog Reps. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) and Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and another conservative Democrat, former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), have also shuttered their campaign committees in the aftermath of the 2010 election. (Hill has said he will not run again.)

Throw one more onto the pile:

Add ex-Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) to the probably-not-running-again list. He’s joining a FL lobbying firm.

Well, at least they’re finding jobs in this economy.

Klein lost to Allen West last cycle, 45 percent to 54 percent. Under the current district lines, Florida’s 22nd congressional district scores a D+1 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, and Obama carried it, 52 percent to 48 percent, in 2008. Klein’s disinterest doesn’t end the Democrats’ chances of retaking the seat, but it is a bit surprising.

Tags: Allen West , Baron Hill , Bobby Bright , Ike Skelton , Ron Klein , Stephanie Herseth Sandlin , Travis Childers , Walt Minnick

One More Vulnerable House Democrat in the West...


Here’s a race I thought had slipped through the GOP’s fingers. In this environment, no Democrat in a red district is safe.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick’s lead over Republican Raul Labrador fell from 10 percentage points in mid-September to 3 percentage points late last week, says a poll commissioned by The Spokesman-Review and six other newspapers.

The freshman Democrat’s lead is so narrow that it may not exist at all because it falls within the poll’s 5-point margin of error . . .

Idaho Republicans have huge leads in two races, with Sen. Mike Crapo up 44 percentage points on Democrat Tom Sullivan and 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson leading Democrat Mike Crawford by 45 percentage points. In two top statewide races, Republicans have double-digit leads: Gov. Butch Otter by 22 percentage points over Democrat Keith Allred and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna over Democrat Stan Olson by 16 percentage points.

Tags: Raul Labrador , Walt Minnick

Attaboy, Walt Minnick.


A bit of nice news on a Friday afternoon, showcasing that every once in a while you come across a nice story involving a congressman:

A World War II hero will be buried with family by his side, thanks to Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick. 

Vernon Baker, a belated recipient of the Medal of Honor for his role in World War II, passed away last month at his Saint Marie’s home, but his widowed wife couldn’t afford to travel to his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. So Minnick is donating his frequent flyer miles to Heidi Baker and three others in the family so they can make it to the Sept. 24 service.

“It’s stressful enough when you lose loved ones, and to have to worry about this kind of red tape when the country is trying to honor them, it just shouldn’t happen in America,” said Minnick.

Minnick said he was ashamed there wasn’t a program already in place to help grieving families, and plans to change that.

“We’re going to rattle some chains at the Department of Veteran Affairs to see if we can find a way to ensure that we never have a situation like this again with any veteran who’s buried in Arlington Cemetery,” Minnick said.  “And if they can’t solve the problem, I’m going to introduce a bill where Congress can solve it for them.”

Minnick’s a Democrat. Who says I never say anything nice about members of that party?

Tags: Walt Minnick

Think of This Bad Poll for the GOP as a Palate-Cleanser


Almost everything is coming up roses for the GOP in recent polls, but not quite everything:

A smaller sample in [Idaho's] 1st Congressional District put incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick ahead of Republican Raul Labrador by 23 percentage points . . . In the 1st District Minnick led Labrador 52 percent to 29 percent. That’s 13 points higher than a poll conducted for the Labrador campaign by GOP pollster Bob Moore July 12 and 13. Moore showed Minnick with a 37 percent to 27 percent lead. But the IHA’s sample of 200 — assuming the pollster balanced the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts — would have a margin of error of roughly 7 percent. Moore’s margin of error for his sample of 300 likely voters was 6 percent.

At the beginning of the cycle, I would have put this race, in an R+18 district, as one of the can’t-miss opportunities for the GOP. Well, so far, they’re finding a way to miss.

Tags: Raul Labrador , Walt Minnick

A Second Look at Idaho’s First Congressional District Primaries


I realize that with no primary competition against incumbent Walt Minnick, Democrats in Idaho’s 1st congressional district didn’t have much reason to come out and vote yesterday. There was a senatorial primary, deciding who gets to go up against GOP incumbent Mike Crapo, and a gubernatorial primary, to see who gets to go up against GOP incumbent Butch Otter.

Incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick had 11,402 votes.

Raul Labrador, the Republican upstart who overcame favorite Vaughn Ward and who is dramatically underfunded, won 38,686 votes.

It’s an R+18 district. Walt Minnick shouldn’t feel too comfortable.

Tags: Raul Labrador , Walt Minnick

This Primary Upset Is No Small Potatoes


Vaughn Ward will not be the Republican nominee in Idaho’s 1st congressional district.

Idaho state Rep. Raul Labrador has won the Republican nomination in the state’s 1st Congressional District, pulling an upset over rival Vaughn Ward.

Labrador won Tuesday even though he had a significant fundraising disadvantage and despite launching his bid just six months ago.

He’ll face another difficult challenge against first-term Democrat Walt Minnick, who has more than $1 million cash on hand heading into the general election campaign season.

With 409 of 462 precincts reporting, Labrador collected 45.6 percent of the vote compared to 40 percent for Ward.

This is one of those deep-red districts where one wonders how a Democrat ever won it; the GOP will have to hope that Labrador can remind the district that no matter how often Minnick votes against Pelosi, he still helps make her speaker.

Tags: Raul Labrador , Vaughn Ward , Walt Minnick

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