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Vote For Larry

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Never mind the announcements, Sen. Larry Craig is working on his re-election. Idaho's senior senator, a Republican, is actively raising money in advance of a decision to run again for his seat.

"We're trying to put some money in the bank," said Ken Burgess, who works with Craig's campaign offices. Burgess said Craig has been holding numerous fund-raisers, including an Idaho Falls event in February and one in Washington, D.C. last week. Another is planned for Boise this month, Burgess said.

"He hasn't told me what his intentions are," Burgess said. "But he's got me and a few others thinking about organization, and putting some money in the bank."

If Craig runs, he'll have another Larry to deal with. Former Democratic Congressman Larry LaRocco told The Hill newspaper in Washington that he was going to run for the Senate.

"I just want to get in there and get this moving and do everything I need to do to win the nomination," LaRocco told The Hill.

Speaking to a Boise City Club group, Craig seemed anything but ruffled, or retiring.

"I'm a hell of a trench fighter," Craig told the crowd, when asked about his life in the Senate and how it affects his 2008 plans. "I love every minute of it."

The election has also drawn anti-immigration activist Robert Vasquez, the Canyon County commissioner who recently headlined a controversial Boise State lecture on immigration. Without naming Vasquez, Craig said he can smell a racist a mile off.

"When I hear people talking about 'those people' and 'that person,' they've just un-masked themselves to me," he said. Regarding the 2006 election that cost his party its majority in Congress, he said, "those who ran on an anti-immigration policy did not win."

Still in the wings, possibly, is Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who batted away a suggestion from the Idaho Statesman that he might run.