- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A Republican Idaho Senate candidate said Friday that he has filed a police report accusing Democratic Rep. John McCrostie of stealing campaign literature left off at homes in Garden City and lying about doing so while being recorded.

First-time GOP challenger Ryan McDonald told The Associated Press in an interview that he was campaigning last week when he saw McCrostie also going door-to-door and decided to approach McCrostie after seeing that he was carrying the same kind of campaign material plastic bags McDonald had just dropped off at homes.

The Garden City police department said it has received a police report but could not make it public on Friday because it was still being finalized.

McCrostie declined to comment to media outlets on Friday; instead he released a brief statement saying he regretted his actions - but did not specify what he was apologizing for.

“I made a mistake and I apologize to my family, my supporters and the people of District 16 have worked diligently for my community for decades, and I pledge to hold myself to a higher standard,” McCrostie said.

McCrostie is running for a second term against GOP candidate Joel Robinson.

McDonald used his phone to record a conversation with McCrostie during their encounter in the neighborhood. McCrostie denied on the audio that he stole campaign material.

“Would I ever do it? No. That’s silly,” McCrostie says on the audio provided by McDonald. “There are some of those very childish games.”

McDonald in the audio then asked McCrostie to admit he had taken Republican campaign materials before explaining that he was a Republican candidate running in the same legislative district.

“Do you want to fess up to it now? You did it?” McDonald asked.

“So, it’s part of the game,” McCrostie said before offering to give back the campaign bags.

The bags had U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador’s campaign logo on the front and contained literature on Republican candidates vying for a seat in Democratic-dominant District 16, McDonald said.

McDonald said he received a call from Republican Secretary of State Lawerence Denney suggesting he contact House Speaker Scott Bedke to share concerns of a possible ethics violation.

“Even on the state local level, we’re seeing people who think they’re above the law,” McDonald, 26, said. “It’s disgusting. I run my campaign so that everything I do is legal.”

McDonald faces Sen. Grant Burgoyne in the November election. The last time Republican held a seat in District 16 was in 2009.


This story has been corrected to show that McDonald is pursuing a Senate seat, not a House seat.

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