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Lawrence Wasden wants a 6th term as Idaho's attorney general

Frankie Barnhill
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is running for re-election next year, hoping to secure a sixth term in office.

Wasden’s campaign announced the move Monday morning. He’s already Idaho’s longest-serving attorney general.

Boise State University political science professor Jaclyn Kettler said the race is starting to heat up.

“Wasden hasn’t had, kind of, strong primary competition for quite a few elections,” Kettler said.

She said it's one of many races highlighting the divide within the Republican Party — in this case, also what the role of the attorney general should be.

“Whether it should stake this kind of neutral legal approach or be more involved in this kind of partisan politics and policy debates,” Kettler said.

In a press release, Wasden touted his track record of “calling legal balls and strikes fairly.”

"An attorney general does not provide their clients or their state any value by giving them the legal counsel they want to hear or that is politically convenient,” he said.

His office has clashed with state lawmakers over the years when legal opinions find bills to be likely unconstitutional.

Attempts to expand the use of private legal counsel for state agencies and diminish the role of the attorney general’s office have failed so far.

Wasden first won election in 2002 and has been with the office since 1989 when he was assigned to represent the Idaho Tax Commission. He previously served as a prosecutor in Canyon and Owyhee counties.

Former Congressman Raul Labrador announced his campaign for attorney general last week.

Labrador promised to “defend Idaho’s sovereignty, protect the individual rights of Idaho’s citizens, fight back against the Biden Administration’s destructive policies, and ensure conservative legislators have a true partner in the AG’s office.”

Labrador chose not to run for another term in the U.S. House in 2018, but failed to win the Republican nomination for governor that year.

In addition to Labrador, Wasden faces two other challengers next year: Art Macomber, a Coeur d’Alene attorney and another North Idaho lawyer, Colton Boyles.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2021 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!