Idaho Lt. Gov. Jim Risch declared his candidacy for the seat being vacated by embattled Sen. Larry Craig. Risch joins Rex Rammell in the race, but is the prohibitive Republican frontrunner now that Rep. Mike Simpson has taken himself out of consideration.
Risch is a conservative who focuses largely on limited government and secure borders. Unlike Rep. Mike Simpson, he likely will not draw the scorn of the Club for Growth, who threatened to support Rep. Bill Sali in a potential primary. It is hard to imagine Sali entering the race at this point, especially given his closer than it should’ve been election last year.
Risch will face off against former Rep. Larry LaRocco, whom he handily defeated in the race for Lt. Governor last year, running up a 58-39 margin. Although DSCC Chair Schumer has said that his Party will launch a vigorous campaign for the seat, it is unlikely that it will follow through given their much better opportunities elsewhere and the 19 point MoV last year.