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The U.S. flag flies over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in this Jan. 19, 2020 file photo.

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As first-term GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher seeks a second two-year term representing Idaho in the U.S. House, he’s facing challenges from an energetic Democrat who’s been touring the 1st Congressional District in a campaign-decorated RV and a Libertarian combat veteran who wants to bring U.S. troops home.

“I think this year is going to be a turning point for our history, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure that our representative republic stays in place,” Fulcher said on statewide television during the “Idaho Debates,” adding, “It is under attack, we are under attack.”

Fulcher, a strong supporter of President Trump, says on his campaign website that he is “pro-gun,” “pro-life” and “pro-Constitution,” and said in his League of Women Voters survey that he wants another term to “help Idahoans reopen the pathway to prosperity and liberty.” He’s a former board member of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Democrat Rudy Soto says Fulcher, a conservative who unsuccessfully challenged then-GOP Gov. Butch Otter from the right in the GOP primary in 2014, is too partisan to accomplish much in Washington, D.C. “You’ve got to work across the aisle, and he’s shown no willingness to do that,” Soto told the Idaho Press. “Yes, we are conservative-leaning for sure. That’s why I consider myself a moderate Democrat and always have.”

Soto says he wants to join the bipartisan “Problem Solvers Caucus” in the House and work on making health care more affordable and accessible, extending rural broadband service, and infrastructure investments for Idaho.

Libertarian Joe Evans says both major-party candidates are “beholden” to their national party organizations. “As the Libertarian I represent that individualist ideal that is very Idahoan,” he said.

But he acknowledges that his positions, including ending foreign wars, opening borders and legalizing medical marijuana, may not be widely popular in the conservative, heavily Republican district.

“I like to think that I’m the best candidate for the job, but I understand a lot of my views aren’t always popular,” Evans said. “Definitely get out, do your research, find out about the candidates, check up Russ Fulcher’s voting record, check out Rudy Soto’s platform, look at mine. That’s how you’re going to know who’s going to represent your views best.” You can read my full story here at (subscription required), or pick up today's print edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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