Raul Labrador has won the 1st District Congressional Seat.
But it was a long, rocky road to get to that point...
As a possible candidate in the GOP Primary, Raul was actually not warmly welcomed when he decided to throw his hat into the nomination race. Many in the Idaho GOP leadership elite looked at each other and, almost in a smirk, wondered out loud: "Who does he think he is?"
He was not accepted by the "in crowd" when he threw his hat in the race last winter.
His family believed in him and very few others.
He wasn't welcomed into the congressional race by the "in crowd" in the spring when he launched the most successful social networking election plan in the nation - for his Primary win.
I believed in him, so did Lou Esposito and David Ripley. And my son, Colin Mansfield, believed in him. China Gum believed in him. Greg Smith believed in him. As a Primary team we joined Becca Labrador and hoped voters would see who we all saw during the race.
He WAS accepted by the GOP voters in the Primary and won overwhelmingly in late May. The pic to the right was from that wonderful May night victory. We were out spent 7-1...and won. Colin and I left the campaign right after the Primary. Colin went to West Point as a member of the United States Military Academy, Class of 2014, appointed by Congressman Walt Minnick. I went on to some business activities.
Then, in July with a money disadvantage against Rep. Minnick of 18-1, Raul Labrador was again not INITIALLY welcomed by those whom he defeated nor was he welcomed by some folks nationally. A hispanic guy named "Raul" representing Idaho's 1st Congressional District? "C'mon", they seemed to say.
There was no "Eating Raul", when the race was over.
There was only Raul, eating away at the disbelief of people who did not know him.
We also set up a phone call for Cadet Colin Mansfield to talk with Raul Labrador. It was a precious phone call to witness as a father and a mother...
And then Colin Tweeted, Facebooked and blogged on it...as was his custom in May.
Raul Labrador's secret to winning this race appears to be that he simply believes in himself...and because he believes in himself, his bride and family joined him in that belief...and then an ever-increasing series of "rings" widened out...believers who voted for him.
Voters who believed in him.