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Eight-term Congressman Mike Simpson, a Republican, is facing a tough primary challenge from the right. Tea Party Republican Bryan Smith wants to unseat Simpson.NPR host David Green and producer Arnie Seipel are following the race. The two say the Simpson-Smith primary could be a GOP bellwether nationally.“We started talking to a lot of the members of our political team about ‘where are the races that will help us tell this story?,’” Greene says. “The 2nd Congressional District in Idaho kept coming up."

Mitt Romney Says Idaho Is A Leading Example Of Conservative Governing That Works

Romney, Simpson, Otter, Risch
Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

Former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is in Idaho this week campaigning on behalf of three longtime politicians.

On Thursday, Romney hosted a $250-per-plate luncheon for two-time Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter. The event was also to benefit eight-time Rep. Mike Simpson, R-ID, and Sen. Jim Risch, R-ID, who is campaigning for his first re-election bid.

"I’m here today in Idaho, and was here yesterday, to make sure that people understand that the people I'm standing with right here are the right team of conservative leaders to help the people of Idaho," Romney said at a brief press conference. "They’ve done a great job, they’re doing a great job, and they will do a great job as they help lead this great state, and make contributions to the nation as well."

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio
Boise State Public Radio
Mitt Romney hosted a fundraiser for eight-time Congressman Mike Simpson in Idaho Falls on March 19, 2014.

Gov. Otter and Rep. Simpson are both facing election challenges from within their own party. Otter's leading challenger is Tea Party-backed state Sen. Russ Fulcher. Simpson's Republican challenger is Tea Party-backed political newcomer Bryan Smith.

Romney, Risch, Otter and Simpson spoke with members of the Idaho press for 10 minutes at the Powerhouse Event Center in Boise.

Romney says Idaho is a leading example of conservative principles at work, and that's why he chose to endorse the three men.

"I also acknowledge they’re men of character and vision, and they’ve done a heck of a good job -- and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it," said Romney.

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