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Fulcher wins GOP nomination for Idaho congressional seat

Republican Russ Fulcher thanks supporters for his victory in the Idaho primary at an election night party Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. In the crowded 1st Congressional District race, Fulcher won the nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Congressman Raul Labrador, who was running for the GOP's gubernatorial nomination in a race that was still too close to call just before midnight. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP)

Darin Oswald

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher on Tuesday won the Idaho Republican crowded and competitive primary in the 1st Congressional District.

"It is an honor folks. Because when you invest your faith — in me, in this case — to represent you, every time I say a word, every time I cast a vote, I want you to know I take that very, very seriously," Fulcher said during his victory speech in Boise. "We're here because we have the same faith. We're here because we have the same Republican principals."

The district, whose voters strongly backed President Donald Trump in 2016, is being vacated by Republican Congressman Raul Labrador, who unsuccessfully ran for Idaho governor rather than run for re-election.

The 56-year-old Fulcher originally filed to run for Idaho's open gubernatorial seat nearly a year ago. Fulcher instead jumped into the congressional race, reasoning that he and Labrador should serve in complimentary roles.

Fulcher failed to win the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2014 with a narrow loss to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

Fulcher beat six other Republicans in Tuesday's primary, gaining 43 percent of the GOP primary vote in early returns with more than two-thirds of precincts reporting. His opponents included former Lt. Gov. and former Attorney General David Leroy, first-time candidate Michael Snyder and state Reps. Luke Malek and Christy Perry.

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He will face Democrat Cristina McNeil in the November general election.

The district covers the northern half of the state and snakes down to the western part of the Treasure Valley, including parts of Boise.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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