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5-term Attorney General of Idaho in a fierce primary battle of the Republican Republic National

BOISE, Idaho (AP) is a five-term Republican Attorney General of Idaho who has served in a deeply conservative state for 20 years with a strategy he describes as legal “points and blows.” He faces two contenders who see a more activist role in the office.

Lawrence Wesden, a former prosecutor backed by the Republican establishment, is likely in the toughest primary race of his career against former U.S. envoy Raoul Labrador and Art Macomber, a political novice who has never held public office.

Labrador, a tea party favorite for eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives, has now lost to the governor. Brad Little at the 2018 Republican Party primaries. The post of Attorney General could be a stepping stone for another gubernatorial candidacy in 2026.

Macomber, who called himself an outsider whose experience deals with civil courts, could become a spoiler for Labrador if he takes away enough votes from far-right Republicans.

On Tuesday night, Wasden was a little ahead in terms of return, but lost the lead as more constituencies outside the densely populated Boise region began to report votes. The competition was held between Wasden and Labrador shortly before midnight, the Labrador was ahead.

Labrador said he was not embarrassed by the first results, noting that in past races he has usually done poorly in the Boise region, where votes are counted quickly, but in other parts of the state he is doing much better. “I think we’ll be fine by the end of the night,” he told KTVB in Boise.

Wasden has the approval of Little and former Republican governors. CL “Butch” Otter, Dirk Kempthorne and Phil Bath, U.S. Republican Mike Simpson and former Republican Attorney General and Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones. It is also supported by the National Rifle Association.

He tells lawmakers if he believes the proposed laws are likely to be overturned by the courts, annoying members of his party. They set up the Legislative Legal Protection Fund to hire their lawyers, who critics say tell lawmakers what they want to hear. The fund, which is overseen by leaders of the House of Representatives and Senates, has spent millions.

“You can choose an attorney general who follows the law, or one who considers himself a congressional activist or politician,” Wasden said during a debate with Labrador and Macomber last month.

Labrador immediately tells conservative lawmakers that they will have a partner with him in the Attorney General’s Office.

“This work is not just legal, but political,” Labrador said in the same discussion. “I would be much more aggressive.”

Wasden has been involved in numerous lawsuits against the Biden administration, but has been criticized for failing to join a Texas lawsuit challenging President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit after ruling that Texas has no right.

Wesden said that by not participating, he is defending Idaho’s sovereignty because such a lawsuit could allow other states to sue Idaho, impeding Idaho’s ability to govern itself.

The winner of the Republican primaries will meet in November with Steve Scanlin, who has no opposition at the Democratic primaries. But it is expected that the winner of the Republican primaries will easily win the general election in the deep red state.

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