Malek considers run for Congress

The latest name in the congressional candidate shuffle is state Rep. Luke Malek.

Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, is considering running in the open race for the 1st Congressional District. Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review first reported on Malek’s interest in the race.

Rep. Luke Malek

“The people of the 1st District deserve a representative who will fight for jobs, for education and for the future of Idaho’s families,” Malek, an attorney, said in a statement to Russell. “I have been discussing running for Congress with close family and friends, and recognize that serving our district is a commitment that cannot be taken lightly.  I am humbled by the kind encouragement I have received from many I trust, and am continuing to contemplate what this new path in public service would mean for my family, my firm and the people I am currently serving.”

With 1st District incumbent Rep. Raul Labrador running for governor, the congressional race figures to draw widespread interest. Former Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy and former state Sen. Russell Fulcher are already in the Republican field. Layne Bangerter, a special assistant to President Trump, is also considering the race.

Post Falls Democrat Michael William Smith has also filed campaign paperwork.

Malek is in his third term in the Legislature. He sits on the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, and he served on a legislative interim committee that worked on sorting out Idaho’s broadband services in the aftermath of Idaho Education Network debacle.