Now, the 1st Congressional District shuffle begins

(UPDATED, 9:44 a.m., with details on Leroy’s filing.)

With U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador abandoning his seat in Congress for a run for governor, who will run for Congress?

On Wednesday, state superintendent Tom Luna said he is “seriously considering” a run for Congress.

We started getting answers Thursday morning.

Former Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy filed his paperwork for a 1st Congressional District run. (Details from Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press.)

Leroy’s run is not a surprise. In an appearance on “Idaho Reports” earlier this year, Leroy said he would run for Congress if Labrador did not stay put.

Leroy, a Boise attorney, will almost certainly have company in the May 2018 GOP primary.

Former state superintendent Tom Luna issued a statement Wednesday saying he is “strongly considering” a run for Congress.

Here’s the full statement from Luna:

“I am strongly considering stepping forward to serve the great people of Idaho and run for the open seat in the First Congressional District. I have visited with supporters and party leaders across Idaho about this possibility and am very encouraged by their positive response.
“Since Congressman Labrador has stated that he will make an official announcement in the coming weeks, I too will wait until then to officially take my next steps. In the meantime, I will continue to visit with people across the 1st CD.”

Luna, of Nampa, was elected as state superintendent in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. But he has not appeared on a ballot after November 2012, when Idaho voters overwhelming rejected his three education overhaul laws. Luna did not seek re-election in 2014.

If recent history is any indication, the 1st Congressional District race should be crowded.

In 2006, then-U.S. Rep. Butch Otter decided to give up his seat for Congress to run for governor; state Rep. Bill Sali won a six-person GOP primary and ultimately was elected to Congress. In 2000, Otter won an open, eight-person GOP primary before he was elected to Congress.

This is a developing blog post. Check back later for updates.

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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