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Politics & Government

Candidate Conversations 2018: Raul Labrador

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio
Congressman Raul Labrador speaks with Boise State Public Radio in 2015 after helping to form the House Freedom Caucus.

As part of our coverage of the 2018 election, we’re bringing you conversations with each of the candidates running for governor who face a primary challenge.


James Dawson spoke with Congressman Raul Labrador, a longtime Idaho politician who has represented the state's 1st Congressional District since 2012.


On addressing the estimated 62,000 people stuck in the so-called Medicaid gap:

“I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the government to provide insurance for individuals. Our responsibility is to reduce the cost of health insurance for individuals.”

“We can have access to healthcare if we can provide for the people of Idaho, if we can find ways for them to get direct care through some low-cost healthcare providers in the state.”

How he would bolster Idaho's low high school graduation rates and prepare students for in-demand, high-skill jobs:


“We need to set high standards at the state level and those high standards can be met by the local communities without us mandating how they reach those standards.”

“My goal as governor is that every child needs to have a meaningful opportunity after high school and that means either having enough credits towards an advanced degree – whether it’s vocational credits or whether it’s getting an associate’s degree – or we need to help them remediate the children that have not received the proper education.”

How he would balance preserving Idaho's proud western heritage while also embracing its identity as the fastest-growing state in the country:


Labrador has long advocated for halting tax breaks for businesses who relocate to the Gem State.

“If everybody is being treated the same then the growth will be more organic. The companies in Idaho will grow with the culture they’re used to in Idaho and the companies that decide to move to Idaho will be companies that decide that they want the culture of Idaho.”

Labrador is one of seven Republicans vying for his party's nomination for governor.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio