(UPDATED, 3:17 p.m., with comment from Labrador campaign.)
Democrats have a new candidate for attorney general.
Boise attorney Tom Arkoosh will jump into the open race, replacing fellow Boise Democrat Steve Scanlin on the November ballot.
Arkoosh will now face former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, the Republican nominee, who ousted 20-year incumbent Lawrence Wasden in the May GOP primary.
Arkoosh has 44 years of legal experience and is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Idaho College of Law. He is a partner in Boise’s Arkoosh Law Office; according to a biography on the firm’s website, Arkoosh has practiced civil, commercial, criminal and natural resource law, including water rights law, and has worked as a lobbyist.
He announced his candidacy Tuesday with a few jabs at Labrador.
“The other candidate in this race is a shameless political opportunist, the kind of political conflict creator that illustrates so much of what is wrong with our politics. He will make decisions on the basis of what he thinks will advance his political career, not what the law requires or is best for Idaho,” Arkoosh said. “If you want controversy and conflict — he’s your guy. If you want competence, I hope you’ll consider my candidacy.”
Labrador campaign adviser Brent Littlefield questioned Arkoosh’s party affiliation. Arkoosh told Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press that he had voted in the May GOP primary.
“There is nothing more political than this backroom deal cut by the Idaho Democrat Party with Mr. Arkoosh, who has literally flip-flopped between parties in the course of a year,” Littlefield said. “As Idaho’s next attorney general, Raúl Labrador will work to protect Idaho’s families, safeguard the state’s economy, and defend Constitutional freedoms.”
Arkoosh’s campaign has one big-name crossover supporter: Republican Jim Jones, a former attorney general and state Supreme Court justice, will serve as Arkoosh’s campaign treasurer.
“I’m really concerned about what will happen to the attorney general’s office with the GOP candidate,” Jones said Tuesday. “(Tom) is going to be key to running this state in a constitutional fashion.”