Democratic nominee for Idaho attorney general announces long list of prominent Republicans backing his campaign | Idaho
BOISE — Idaho Attorney General nominee Tom Arkoosh, who is running as a Democrat, on Tuesday announced a list of more than 50 longtime Idaho Republicans who support his campaign, including notable names like L former GOP Gov. Phil Batt, current GOP Sen. Patti Anne Lodge and longtime former GOP State Sen. Laird Noh.
Arkoosh takes on former four-term GOP congressman Raul Labrador in the race to become Idaho’s next attorney general; Labrador defeated longtime GOP attorney general Lawrence Wasden in the May primary.
“Tom Arkoosh is the first candidate on the Democratic ticket that I have supported in my 66 years working with the Republican Party,” Lodge said. “I have always looked at the candidate’s qualifications. In this case, I found Tom, a freelancer who was recruited by a large group of Idaho voters, as the person with the legal expertise, experience, and administrative skills to operate the largest state law firm. His work with legislators and agencies on a variety of issues in a nonpartisan manner and his ability to bring groups together in mediation will prove beneficial to the State of Idaho and all of its citizens.
Here is the full list of “Republicans for Tom Arkoosh” released by the campaign:
Senator Patti Anne Lodge, Houston
Former Senator Denton Darrington, Declo
Alice Hennessey, prominent Republican from Ada County, Boise
Shawn and Jennifer Ellis, breeders, Blackfoot
D. Marc Haws, Retired County, State and Federal Attorney, New Plymouth
William Boyd, Mining Lawyer, Coeur d’Alene
Former Senator Chuck Coiner, Twin Falls
Jerry Evans, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Boise
Former Representative Rich Wills, Glenns Ferry
Randy Budge, Pocatello Water Lawyer
Former Representative Max Black, Boise
Eric Peterson, Past President, Nez Perce County Republicans, Lewiston
Representative Fred Wood and Amy Wood, Burley
Tom Basabe, longtime Grand View Republican
Lydia Justice Edwards, former Idaho State Treasurer
Former Senator Bill Ringert, Boise
Jerry Rigby, Water Lawyer in Rexburg
Former Representative Beverly Montgomery, Meridian
Gary Raney, former Ada County Sheriff
Former Representative Dean Haagenson and Cindy Haagenson, Coeur d’Alene
Former Representative Pam Ahrens, Boise
Steve Ahrens, Past President, Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry, Boise
Dale Storer, Idaho Falls Municipal Law Practice
Jim and Camille Cox, longtime Twin Falls Republicans
Former Rep. Jerry Deckard, Boise
Mike Otter, retired Meridian Republican
Former Senator Joe Stegner, Lewiston
Former Representative Bob Fry of Horseshoe Bend
Billie Siddoway, former Teton County District Attorney
Former Senator Laird Noh and Kathleen Noh, Twin Falls
Robert Farnam, Idaho Falls attorney
Former Representative George Eskridge, Dover
Geoff Thomas, longtime superintendent, Madison School District, Rexburg
Bud Yost, Longtime Nampa Lawyer, Nampa
Former Representative Leon Smith and Jan Mittleider, Twin Falls
Representative Scott Syme, Caldwell
Ben Ysursa, former Idaho Secretary of State, Boise
Former Representative John A. “Bert” Stevenson, Rupert
Chuck Kroll, former Washington County prosecutor
David High, Former Division Chief, Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Boise
Robert E. Williams III, attorney for Jerome
Jay Heward, former Cassia County Sheriff
Jim Hawkins, former Idaho Trade Manager, Boise
Senator Fred Martin, Boise
Former Governor Phil Batt, Idaho human rights icon, Wilder
Lori Otter, real estate agent and former first lady of Idaho
Labrador released this statement in response: “More than 140,500 Republicans supported me earlier this year with their vote for Attorney General. Since then, thousands of other disgruntled Republicans, Independents and Democrats have expressed their support on social media, via digital contact or in person as I campaign in Idaho. My opponent became a candidate through a backroom deal, and he continues to campaign for insiders only. My campaign is not about backroom insiders, I am running to represent the people of Idaho by protecting their freedom, our state’s sovereignty, and our shared Idaho values.
Arkoosh just entered the race for attorney general in July when shadow Democratic nominee Steve Scanlin stepped down. A longtime former independent who had briefly been a registered Republican, he registered as a Democrat shortly before entering the race.
Labrador campaign adviser Brent Littlefield, who previously called Arkoosh’s important recommendations “a pile of old politicians,” said on Tuesday, “It looks like that pile has grown.”
Arkoosh held a press conference in the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday afternoon to announce the endorsements, during which speaker after speaker praised Arkoosh’s legal experience and qualifications for the position, and denounced the stated intent of Labrador to take a more aggressive political approach to the office.
“It’s important,” Lodge said. “Look at the qualifications. Don’t look at the R or the D.” She said Idaho needs an attorney general who can work with all lawmakers, “from all different factions,” and work with state agencies, local governments and more; she praised Arkoosh’s ability “to bring people together in mediation”.
David High, a longtime former Idaho assistant attorney general, called Arkoosh “an extraordinarily good lawyer.” He called the list of Republicans backing the Democratic nominee “the real who’s who of Republican leaders in Idaho.”
The list includes former elected officials from across the state; prominent lawyers; and business and law enforcement leaders, former longtime Senate Judiciary Chairman Denton Darrington, R-Declo; to former GOP Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney.
Ben Ysursa, the longtime former GOP Idaho secretary of state who serves as one of Arkoosh’s campaign co-chairs, said, “What we’re looking for in this office is a good lawyer, not a good politician.”
Former Idaho First Lady Lori Otter said, “I urge any Republican who has questions about this race to do their homework, seek out Tom Arkoosh, and give him your support and your vote in November. “
Arkoosh said: “I’m honored to have these longtime Republican stalwarts supporting someone running on the other party’s ticket. I’ve been an independent voter all my life. … I’ve admired and voted for Lawrence Wasden because he placed the law on politics.”
“I will be attorney general for Idahoans of all stripes, Democrats, Republicans, independents, unaffiliated. The law demands nothing less,” he said.
Pointing to the list of names on a sign next to the podium at the press conference, Arkoosh said: “This is the stuff of a conversation, which brings us all together. … When this conversation happens, we will walk away of extremism, we will all be Idahoans again.”