Labrador, Ahlquist feud over TV ads

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador accused fellow Republican Tommy Ahlquist of lying about his record — and demanded a pro-Ahlquist PAC take down an attack ad.

“Fake news has come to Idaho from Tommy Ahlquist and his father’s PAC,” Labrador said during a Statehouse news conference Thursday morning. “These lies must end, and they must end now.”

The claims and counterclaims are escalating, as Labrador and Ahlquist, a Boise developer and physician, vie for the GOP nomination in the May 15 gubernatorial primary. Outside the fray — at least in this go-round — is Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the third major Republican in the race.

Flanked by several supporters, Labrador disputed one central claim in the ads: that Labrador has failed to get legislation passed during his four terms in Congress. Labrador has authored three bills that have become law, according to Cynthia Sewell of the Idaho Statesman, who has a full report on the Labrador-Ahlquist feud.

Idaho First PAC, the group funding the anti-Labrador ads, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Sewell. But Ahlquist campaign manager David Johnston did speak out.

“Unable to defend his record, it looks like Congressman Labrador is becoming unhinged,” Johnston told the Statesman.

Idaho First PAC raised $261,000 in 2017, according to state campaign finance reports. Ahlquist’s father, John T. Ahlquist Jr., contributed $100,000 to the PAC. J.B. Scott, chairman of the board of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, contributed $91,000.

Here’s more on the story from Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press.

Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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