- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador has contributed to more than 40 GOP candidates running in legislative races across Idaho, as well as giving $10,000 to the Idaho Republican Party.

Labrador mostly gave $250 and $500 campaign donations to Republican legislative candidates facing Democratic or third-party challengers, including races outside of his 1st Congressional District.

Raul Labrador has always made it a priority to strengthen and build up the Republican Party in Idaho,” said China Gum, senior political adviser for Labrador’s campaign, in a prepared statement. “Whether it was through a financial contribution, an endorsement, or encouraging candidates in their race, he’s always done whatever he could to elect Republicans at all levels of government.”

Gum added that Labrador’s recent contributions were designed to help fellow Republicans in tough races and support the Idaho Republican Party’s “get out the vote” efforts.

The donations were recently disclosed to the Federal Election Commission in Labrador’s pre-general election report and to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office.

In total, Labrador gave $15,000 to various legislative candidates between Oct. 12 and Oct. 27.

Included in that were $1,000 donations to state Rep. Heather Scott and Sen. Mary Souza, who are both running for a second term. The congressman’s donation was one of the largest contributions Scott has reported receiving so far in the general election.

As a favorite of the far right, she has not received support from House GOP leaders after being highly critical of many lawmakers inside the Idaho Statehouse.

Labrador is currently running for re-election to a fourth term in the U.S. House. Labrador has declined to comment if he plans on running for governor in 2018, promising that he will make that decision after Tuesday’s election.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little and former Republican state Sen. Russ Fulcher currently are the only other candidates who have announced they hope to replace Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who says he does not plan to run for re-election.

Fulcher and Little donated to a handful of Republican candidates during the primary election season, but so far have not made any contributions before the general election.

Labrador donated $1,000 to Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, during the primary election.

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