Bucking the Status Quo: Rep. Raul Labrador Makes Official Run For Leadership After Cantor Loss

Posted: Jun 17, 2014 9:10 AM
Bucking the Status Quo: Rep. Raul Labrador Makes Official Run For Leadership After Cantor Loss

Just one week after Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning loss and announcement he will step down from his leadership position in July, Rep. Raul Labrador from Idaho has officially thrown his hat into the race to fill the position.

Yesterday, Labrador sent a letter to House Republican colleagues asking for their support.

Dear Colleague,

I am writing today to humbly ask for your vote for Majority Leader.

Like all of you, I was stunned when Eric Cantor lost his primary election. Eric is my friend and I have tremendous respect for him. But the message from last week is clear – Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.

In the immediate aftermath of Eric’s announcement, Kevin and the Whip team moved quickly to line up support for his candidacy, which is to their credit. But given the extraordinary circumstances that triggered this election – and the related, ongoing divisions within our Party – this race needed another voice.

Promoting, by acclamation, a member of the very Washington leadership that has failed to bridge the divide with Republicans outside Washington struck me as exactly the wrong response. And so, I have decided to stand for Majority Leader – running not against anyone, but for everyone.

The simple fact is, Republicans will never again unite the country until we first unite our Party.

Some might question whether an outspoken conservative from the Class of 2010 could bring us together. But I believe I am uniquely qualified to do just that. Our Conference has the talent, the energy and the ideas equal to the challenges of these anxious times. What we lack is a positive, innovative reform agenda and the courage to implement it.

Throughout America, there is a growing sense that the American Dream is slipping away and that our leaders in Washington aren’t up to the challenge of preserving it.

I have lived the American Dream. I was raised by a single mother in Puerto Rico and lived there until the age of 13 when we moved to Las Vegas. She worked many different jobs to make ends meet. And while times were tough, she never complained and she never envied other people’s success. Instead, she encouraged me to dream big. She always reminded me that if I studied, worked hard, and did right by others, I could live the American Dream. She was right! And today, I believe our chief responsibility as House Republicans is to preserve that dream for America's children and grandchildren.

I know some people made commitments before I entered the race, but the most important commitments we make are to the American people we represent. So I am hopeful you will at least pause for a moment and consider me for this role.

In the coming days, I will be in touch with each of you personally to ask for your support. Win or lose, I am committed to working with you to make sure our Conference is as outstanding as the members it represents.


Raúl Labrador
Member of Congress

Earlier this week, conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt urged House Republicans to "grow a collective spine" and get behind Labrador's bid.

Do at least 118 GOP House members recognize the crisis we’re in — not just the GOP’s political crisis as represented by the political earthquake of the defeat of Eric Cantor — but the multiple crises in the form of an army of Freddy Kruegers marching across Iraq, Edward Snowden looting the country’s vault of hyper-secret intelligence programs and giving them to China and Vladimir Putin, a staggering debt, and a near-nuclear Iran — all presided over by an utterly clueless president and the bizarre staffing of a White House run by Valerie Jarrett?

If there are at least 118 such folks, they will vote this coming Thursday to elect Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho as the new House majority leader, and in so doing energize Speaker John Boehner, turn him in the right direction, and give a huge lift to prospects of a turnaround beginning in January.

If just 118 House Republicans grow a collective spine Thursday and choose Labrador, they will serve notice that the real thing is finally arrived: Not K Street’s version of a rising tide lifting all boats, but an emergency alert and a fire drill aimed at passing the Paul Ryan budget in both chambers in 2015, repealing the Affordable Care Act, curbing the lawless EPA and doing whatever is necessary to stop the worst president in history from earning an even lower approval rating in his last 24 months.