WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prominent U.S. conservative congressman Raul Labrador has decided run for Idaho governor in the 2018 election, which will leave his seat in the House of Representatives up for grabs, KPVI television in Pocatello, Idaho, reported on Tuesday.
“Idaho needs a proven conservative leader who will stand against the special interests and politicians that have picked the winners and losers in our state Capitol for too long,” Labrador said in a statement obtained by the station.
“Idaho needs a governor who will provide a new vision, a new approach and new leadership,” he said in the statement.
The four-term congressman was a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives and was part of a rebel group of conservatives who were a thorn in the side of Republican John Boehner as House speaker.
Labrador voted in favor of the House’s compromise healthcare reform legislation last week. When confronted by angry constituents at a town hall meeting after the vote, he responded by saying: “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare,” a comment that provoked outrage on social media.
(This version of the story corrects source in headline)
(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)