Rand Lewis announces run for U.S. Congress in 1st CD

Great news, folks -- looks like Idaho Democrats have another great candidate (following the campaign of Larry Grant) to run against "Brainfade" Bill Sali next year in the 1st congressional district. Rand Lewis' education, credentials and experience highlight how pathetic our wingnut freshman Representative "Cockfighting makes me moist" Sali truly is. Here's the press release Lewis' campaign sent out tonight:

International affairs expert confirms intention to seek 1st District U.S. House of Representative office

WORLEY, Idaho –- Rand C. Lewis, a national expert on terrorism and international affairs and retired military officer, on May 9, 2007 confirmed his intention to enter the 1st District Congressional race as a Democrat.

Lewis said his experience as a soldier, educator and small business owner will provide the 1st District a candidate with proven leadership and negotiating skills. He is committed to providing fair, equal and responsible representation to all of the constituents of the district. Lewis will seek the Democratic nomination in the May 2008 primary and will pursue an active campaign to unseat Bill Sali in the general election.

“We need strong, smart, and informed leadership in the House to deal with the many difficult issues facing Idahoans over the next few years, including war, education, health care, taxes, and quality jobs,” Lewis said.

As you may recall, late in January of 2006 Dr. Lewis announced that he was going to run for the same office, but changed his mind about a week later out of concern that he didn't have enought time to mount a strong campaign. Now he has 17 months to build up a good head of steam and roll over Billy-Bob in the November 2008 election.

For a full bio of Dr. Lewis, click here, and for the Lewis for Idaho 2008 website, click here.

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Observation

Had Jim Hansen been running in the 1st CD, I have a feeling he'd be in Washington right now. Larry Grant was an OK candidate, but I thought he came across as rather dull.

This Lewis guy intrigues me. Did y'all know it's been 40 years since a Panhandle resident served in Congress? Compton I. White, Jr. of Priest River was the last one.

In any event, the 1st CD race needs to be LIVELY.

Grant will run again

and he will be formidable. He's not officially announcing until fall, but he built up a big base of support and name recgonition last time around - and coming within 5% was pretty good for a first-time candidate.

A contested primary may detract from the real goal: beating Bill Sali. But hey, it's a free country ...

Full Disclosure: I worked for Larry Grant last year. I'm working with Larry LaRocco now.

Candidates

Regardless, we should keep both Grant and Lewis in circulation. I think a goal the state party should set for itself is to have enough credible candidates filed by March so that a GOP majority in the Legislature isn't already set. This will require the support of the county parties as well.