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Rep. Raul Labrador won't seek re-election in 2018; announces bid for Idaho governor
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) announces that he doesn't plan to run for re-election to Congress, but instead, will run for governor of Idaho in 2018. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Raul Labrador won't seek re-election in 2018; announces bid for Idaho governor

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to Congress in 2018. Instead, Labrador announced his plan to run for governor of Idaho.

Labrador said he will finish out his current term in Congress while campaigning for the new office.

“Idaho needs a proven conservative leader who will stand against the special interests and politicians that have picked the winners and losers in our state capitol for too long," Labrador said Tuesday, according to the Huffington Post.

“Idaho needs a strong leader who will make government fair for everyone. Idaho needs a governor who will provide a new vision, a new approach and new leadership," the three-term congressman said.

By the time Labrador leaves Washington, D.C., he will have served four terms in the House of Representatives.

Labrador was first elected in 2010 as part of the Republican wave when the party took back control of the House. Labrador is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which recently forced House Republican leadership to revise their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Labrador did not support the original version of the legislation. After nearly a month of negotiations between moderate Republicans and more conservative GOP members, however, Labrador voted in support of the American Health Care Act.

The timing of Labrador's announcement comes just days after the Idaho congressman faced criticism for saying during a town hall with constituents that "nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."

Labrador later issued a statement, clarifying what he meant.

“During ten hours of town halls, one of my answers about health care wasn’t very elegant,” Labrador said, according to The Associated Press.

“I was responding to a false notion that the Republican health care plan will cause people to die in the streets, which I completely reject," Labrador said.

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