A Pricey Run


Larry LaRocco hopes to raise $5 million to run what he said, “could be the most expensive campaign in the history of Idaho.” LaRocco, a Democrat, hopes to replace U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, a Republican who has not announced his re-election intentions.

While the amount seems astronomical compared to the roughly $850,000 he raised for his last race for the U.S. Congress in 1990, he said it’s a matter of keeping pace with other candidates who have spent increasing amounts in past years.

“We’re going to be very competitive,” LaRocco said.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the animosity between LaRocco and Idaho Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch, with whom LaRocco has fought many contentious campaigns since 1986. Most recently, Risch defeated LaRocco in the 2006 race for Lieutenant Governor.

Risch announced the possibility of his own candidacy for the U.S. Senate soon after LaRocco, raising some eyebrows as to timing.

“It seems like it was a slow day in the governor’s office and he decided to call,” LaRocco said. “If he wanted to get into my news cycle, that’s fine.”

LaRocco’s own announcement came last week as a posting on his Web site, something he sees as an innovative move.

“It was a way to reach everybody,” he said in a meet-and-greet with the media. “An announcement is both a legal requirement and a cultural thing—we’re breaking the mold in the cultural aspect.”