Idaho’s longest-serving attorney general wants another four years on the job.
Incumbent Lawrence Wasden broke his long silence on his political future Monday, saying he will seek a sixth term.
“(I) still feel I have something to offer,” Wasden said in a news release Monday.
Wasden’s announcement sets the stage for a crowded and contentious GOP primary. Former U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador jumped into the attorney general’s race Wednesday. Also in the running are Art Macomber of Coeur d’Alene and Dennis Boyles of Sandpoint, who have been aligned with Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, a gubernatorial candidate.
No Democrat has announced in the race.
In his statement, Wasden underscored his willingness to call “legal balls and strikes fairly and squarely.”
“This has been my guiding principle from Day One and I believe in it as strongly as ever today,” Wasden said. “An attorney general does not provide their clients or their state any value by giving them the legal counsel they want to hear or that is politically convenient. Rather, my goal has always been to provide counsel that is soundly rooted in the Rule of Law. This approach has served Idaho well and it’s important to maintain this consistency in 2023 and beyond.”
That statement appeared to be a veiled reference to Labrador, who dinged Wasden last week for his contentious relationship with lawmakers of his own party. “It is critical that we have a new attorney general who can work with the Legislature to craft legislation to withstand judicial tests and protect Idaho’s sovereignty,” Labrador said last week.
A former Canyon and Owyhee county prosecutor, Wasden has worked in the attorney general’s office since 1989, when he was hired as a deputy assigned to the State Tax Commission.
He was first elected attorney general in 2002.