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Raul Rafael Labrador
Birthdate: Dec. 8, 1967
Birth Place: Carolina, , Puerto Rico
Residence: Eagle, ID
First Elected: 2010
District: District 1
Undergraduate: Brigham Young University
Graduate: University of Washington
Raul Labrador was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and now resides in Eagle, Idaho. He earned a bachelor's at Brigham Young University in 1992 and a law degree from the University of Washington in 1995.
Labrador established a private Idaho law firm in 2000 with offices in Boise and Nampa. He was elected to the Idaho Legislature in 2006 and served two terms before announcing his candidacy for the U.S. House in late 2009.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2010.
Labrador and his wife, Rebecca, have five children.
Raul Labrador was a political outsider when he announced his bid for Congress in December 2009, sending an email of the announcement to a former Idaho blogger known for his extreme conservative views and foreshadowing that Idaho's 2010 Republican primary would hinge on wooing conservative voters.
Despite an underfunded campaign, Labrador won the 2010 general election by appealing to conservative, tea party voters and by avoiding the mistakes made by his Republican primary foe, Vaughn Ward, whose campaign was dogged by missteps including revelations that he cribbed numerous policy statements from incumbent lawmakers in other states.
Since joining the U.S. House's freshman class in 2010, Labrador has won a reputation for siding with conservatives eager to cut the U.S. budget deficit and reduce the national debt.
His outspoken criticism of President Barack Obama's administration has helped make him something of a regular on national weekend news programs. Labrador also has cultivated the image of a contrarian unafraid to challenge his own leaders.
In 2008, for instance, he defied Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and helped elect Norm Semanko as the state GOP chairman. Otter had supported another candidate. Just months later, Labrador got crossways with Otter yet again, this time becoming one of the most-vocal opponents of the governor's plan to raise gasoline and vehicle registration fees in the 2009 Legislature just as the economy was souring.
According to a recently published book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do," by Ron Draper, Labrador has continued this streak in Congress. He was among freshman lawmakers who challenged House Speaker John Boehner over budget cuts they deemed insufficient. "I didn't come to Washington to be part of a team," Labrador told Draper.
Labrador is considered a possible candidate for Idaho governor in 2014, though recent votes in Congress could hurt him in eastern Idaho. In June 2012, Labrador voted for a budget measure that, had it passed, would have drastically cut funding for the Idaho National Laboratory. The federal research center is an enormous employer in Idaho Falls, where it's been an anchor of the local economy as it has weathered the Great Recession far better than many areas of the country due to the stability of government-funded jobs.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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