BOISE, Idaho — You may not agree with him, but you probably know where he stands on the key political issues of the day.
Newly-elected Attorney General Raul Labrador admits he is a very direct person. Labrador was raised by a single mother who struggled financially in Puerto Rico, but Labrador says his mother provided everything he needed as a child and often discussed politics.
"You know, my mom was real political," Labrador said. "I grew up in Puerto Rico, moved to Las Vegas in high school, and the whole time politics was discussed. My mom was a staunch democrat, she was a JFK democrat and would talk of her love for the Kennedy family."
As a matter of fact, when he was 11, Labrado attended a Ted Kennedy rally; quite the contrast to what he would become later in life. Labrador says his mother switched parties in 1981 because of Ronald Reagan.
"Why has this one person changed this other person so much that she changed her political identity?" Labrador explained. "So I studied Reagan, learning the values he believed were the same values that she raised me on and the values that I had, and that's why I became a Republican."
That, and then becoming a member of the L.D.S. church, steered Labrador down a new path that would take him into politics, first as a state representative, then as a U.S. Congressman, and now as the Idaho Attorney General.
Some perceive Labrador as a polarizing figure. Labrador responded, "I just think people in the media are not used to having someone say what they mean. I always find it interesting that the media would think that, instead of praising the fact I'm going to give you a straight answer when you ask me a question."
Labrador, who ran unsuccessfully against Governor Brad Little four years ago, says his relationship with Little is cordial but admits that he and the Governor are not always on the same page. He does look forward to working with the 2023 legislators on key issues such as immigration, stopping the use of fentanyl, and defending the state constitution against federal overreach.
Last week, Attorney General Labrador filed a letter, along with 21 other state A.G.s, condemning the F.D.A. for reversing decades of precedent and allowing abortion-inducing drugs to be distributed remotely.
"It's the law that's been in place for a reason," Labrador said. "The state of Idaho believes abortion, as is, should be illegal, and the F.D.A. is trying to do a run around after they were defeated in the courts."
Where Labrador's path takes him next, he's not showing his hand, but for at least the next four years he will do the job he's been elected to do.