"Raul Labrador and Vaughn Ward lead a crowd of GOP candidates who are vying to take on freshman Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) -- and tea party activists are deeply divided over which candidate deserves their support," Politico writes. "Minnick, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary, was endorsed last month by the Tea Party Express -- the only Democrat in Congress to receive the national group's support. The mid-April endorsement surprised even Minnick, who never courted the tea party support but nevertheless said he was 'pleased' to have their backing."
"Can conservative, tea party backers in Idaho's 1st Congressional District muster enough support to lift state Rep. Raul Labrador to an upset over Iraq veteran Vaughn Ward, who used his significant fundraising lead to buy television ads to rail against big government and the federal deficit?" the AP asks ahead of the Republican primary election today.
Roll Call: "Republican officials in Washington will be nervously watching the results of today's primary in Idaho's 1st district, where their highly touted candidate is struggling to secure the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Walt Minnick (D). Vaughn Ward, a Marine Corps veteran and former CIA official and Senate aide, has long been promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which made him one of its vaunted first 10 'Young Guns.' But a string of stumbles by Ward's campaign has turned what should have been an easy primary win into an uncomfortably close race with state Rep. Raul Labrador, a staunch conservative who is running as a political outsider unafraid to take on his party's establishment."
It's just not good news for Ward when this is the highest story in the paper about today's election: "Three hours after the Vaughn Ward campaign e-mailed a last-minute appeal for votes Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo called on the 1st District GOP candidate to correct the e-mail's "inaccurate impression" that Crapo endorses Ward. Ward apparently did not respond to Crapo's suggestion and declined repeated requests from the Idaho Statesman for comment."
Ward's campaign said his event with Sarah Palin helped raise between $40,000 and $50,000.