Russ Fulcher dropped out of the open GOP race for governor Thursday, and moved into the open race for the 1st Congressional District.
And in the shuffle, Fulcher picked up the endorsement of 1st District incumbent Rep. Raul Labrador.
“Raúl and I have worked together for a long time to promote Idaho families and encourage government to act within its proper constitutional role,” Fulcher said in a news release Thursday. “We recognize the best way to serve the citizens of Idaho is to work together in complimentary roles.”
“Russ’ background as an international businessman, legislative Senate leader, and champion of small government make him an excellent candidate for U.S. Congress,” said Labrador, a candidate for governor. “I am convinced that this is the best move for Republican party unity and also the best move to change the direction of our state and country.”
Labrador had endorsed Fulcher’s 2014 run for governor, when Fulcher unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Gov. Butch Otter.
The shuffle leaves three major Republican candidates in the running to succeed the retiring Otter: Labrador, Boise developer and physician Tommy Ahlquist and Lt. Gov. Brad Little.
Fulcher joins former Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy in the Republican race in the 1st District.
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Thursday’s announcement had been in the works since earlier in the week, when Fulcher disabled his gubernatorial campaign web page and launched the more generic web site russfor.us.
Originally Fulcher had planned an announcement for Wednesday, but called off the event in the wake of the Alexandria, Va., shootings that left U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., severely injured.