The governor’s race: reading the tea leaves

Rep. Raul Labrador isn’t saying whether he’ll run for a third term in Congress — or return to Idaho to run for governor.

But what do his fundraising numbers say?

Raul Labrador
Rep. Raul Labrador

They say he’s less likely to run for governor, and challenge incumbent Butch Otter in the 2014 GOP primary, according to one political observer.

Here’s a Tuesday morning tweet from @Kestrel_West, the Boise public affairs firm headed by John Foster: “$2,500 for Raul Labrador from Milford Terrell, big donor to Butch Otter. (Labrador) raised only $65,000 in (the second quarter). Both signs that (Labrador) may stay in Congress.”

Foster may have a point.

Terrell is a member of the State Board of Education, a panel that serves at the governor’s pleasure. It’s hard to fathom a gubernatorial appointee giving money to someone who’s going to wind up challenging the incumbent.

And Labrador’s fundraising numbers don’t suggest he is stockpiling big money for an expensive primary election. Which is what likely awaits if Labrador takes on Otter, who has said he plans to seek a third term.

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A footnote: Foster was an aide and campaign manager for Rep. Walt Minnick, a Democrat who lost to Labrador in 2010.

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