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Idaho Republicans come together at Lincoln Day Dinner

Idaho Republicans come together at Lincoln Day Dinner

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The guest list at Saturday night's Lincoln Day Dinner read like a who's who of Idaho politics as Gov. Butch Otter and a number of other Republican officerholders flocked to the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls.

While the dinner brought Idaho Republicans together, many are facing challenges from within their party in this year's elections.

Incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Republican challenger Bryan Smith both attended the dinner. While both said they agree that the national deficit is the foremost issue facing the nation, they still took aim at one another.

"Congressman Simpson has a very long and extended record of bigger government and bigger spending," said Smith.

"All he (Smith) does is complain about it, but we've actually been working to try to reduce the deficit and have done so," said Simpson.

Incumbent Sen. Jim Risch was one of the few politicians at Saturday night's dinner facing no challengers from within the party.

"This isn't over yet. The filing is ahead so, no, we don't have anybody here challenging us, but we'll take it a step at a time," said Risch.

In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Otter, and his challenger Russ Fulcher, stressed the importance of maintaining Idaho's independence from the federal government.

"I have vowed that I would never abandon the field of battle with the federal government without a good fight, and we're in a good fight with them on everything," said Otter.

"He's just not doing it. Bottom is line is that if we're gonna be successful in loosening that fiscal tether between Idaho and the federal government, you gotta drive it," said Fulcher.

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