Larry LaRocco 2008 Idaho Senate Race

This was the official website for Larry LaRocco's 2008 Idaho Senate race.
Content is from the site's 2007 - 2008 archived pages and other sources.

Working to Win

By Larry LaRocco
The 2008 Idaho Senate race is in the national news this week. But it’s been on my mind since April 11. That was the day I announced my candidacy for the seat now held by Larry Craig. Ever since then, I’ve been running for the Senate, but I’ve been working for it, too. Let me explain.

I first ran against Larry Craig (then a one-term incumbent) for the House of Representatives in 1982. I was 35 at the time. I’d started my public service career in 1969 as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army and then working with the great Senator Frank Church. He was my mentor, my role model and my inspiration to enter politics.

In the 1982 race for the U.S. House, I worked 22 jobs over an eight-month period, doing everything from milking cows to building logging roads. I had very little name recognition and no help from national party sources, but I still came very close to winning. In 1990 I was victorious when Craig moved on to the Senate.

Now I’m running again, this time for the U.S. Senate. I’m working again, too. One June morning, I showed up at 6 a.m. to work a shift hauling garbage in Orofino, Idaho. A week later, I shadowed a Certified Nursing Assistant in a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Pocatello. The week after that, I pulled a shift in a cheese factory in Twin Falls. And so on...I’ve packed cargo parachutes for smokejumpers fighting forest fires; I’ve worked on a farm; I’ve accompanied parole officers on their rounds; and I’ve hawked peanuts at a minor-league baseball game. (You can read about all of these at my website.)

It’s definitely been an interesting summer, although with Labor Day here, I feel I’ve just begun. I am committed to keep working these next 14 months so that when I go to the U.S. Senate, I will have a real understanding of the tremendous pressures people face to raise their families, pay for housing, health care and education, plan for retirement and keep up with the rising cost of living. I am committed to addressing these issues. I want to give working families a voice that they haven’t had for a long time. I also know that until Congress authorizes a responsible withdrawal from Iraq, we won’t have the energy or the will to get much anything else done.

I have another job that will last from now until Election Day — and that’s to tell everyone that the conventional wisdom about Idaho is wrong. Yes, the ultra-conservatives have been dominant here for more than a decade. But it wasn’t that long ago — in the early 1990s, in fact — that Idaho elected Democrats on a regular basis. I was one of them. And although Idaho narrowly missed sending another Democrat to Congress last year, the state’s voters did elect six new Democratic state legislators (including one in Idaho Falls, which had not elected a Democrat for decades) and came very close in three state senate races. The pendulum is swinging here, too, like in Montana and Colorado.

I entered this race not knowing who my Republican opponent would be. I still don’t know. But I don’t care. I wake up every day believing in myself and working hard — because I know now that’s what families across Idaho and across our nation do, day after day. People want integrity and accountability. People want a new direction. Most of all, people want results. I will honor them by running a campaign that’s light on partisan rancor and heavy on hard work. I invite your comments and your support.

Have a great Labor Day. Let’s make political history together.

"I love my country, and I love Idaho."

Larry LaRocco has never met a challenge he didn't like. That makes him an ideal candidate in starting-to-turn-purple Idaho, where he's running for an open U.S. Senate seat. Though Larry's heart is with the working people of Idaho, he's no stranger to Washington D.C., or to leadership either. He served two terms in the U.S. House in the 90's, where he earned a reputation for hard work, bi-partisanship and honest brokering. His efforts helped preserve both Idaho's precious natural resources and the access to public lands that hunters, fishermen and all Idahoans treasure as their birthright. Among other accomplishments, Larry authored the /Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Act, which preserved a unique Idaho environment for sportsmen, conservationists and all Idahoans to enjoy, now and in the future.

As a former Captain in the United States Army, Larry also demonstrated a genuine concern for this nation's veterans and their families. Now, in 2008, Larry has a unique perspective on the war in Iraq: he sees clearly the need to remove our troops from harm's way as expediently as possible, but he also sees the need to give those troops the support they need to succeed, both in Iraq and after they come home.

Larry started his political career as the North Idaho Field Representative for the late, nationally respected Idaho Senator Frank Church. He served in that position for six years, earning a reputation for hard work – again – and excellent constituent service. In that role he traveled every back road and visited every little town in North Idaho – most of them multiple times. With Senator Church, he learned how to campaign – but more important, he learned how to govern successfully.

Larry has also found his niche in the private sector, and the banking industry seemed to suit him. Beginning as an Assistant Vice President and Director of Marketing at a Twin Falls bank, he moved on to become Vice President of First Idaho Corporation and a financial services consultant at brokerage firms. Once in the U.S. House, he took a seat on the Banking Committee, where his work was instrumental in modernizing the banking industry in America. With his son, Matt, and wife, Chris, he founded LaRocco & Associates, Inc. and they merged their public affairs/government relations practice with Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations.

Military officer, Congressman, businessman, husband, father and grandfather – that just about sums up Larry LaRocco. He and Chris have been married forty years; they have two children and one grandchild. Larry says that the additions to his family have tied him even more closely to the working people of Idaho. “I know what it's like to start out small – I did that myself and I've watched my children do it – and gradually build the kind of life and family everyone wants to leave in this world, the kind noted for its generosity, rather than its wealth."

As a tribute to the people of Idaho – who he says work harder than anyone – LaRocco is building his U.S. Senate campaign around working. So far, he's served as a farm laborer, carpenter, cheese-maker, nursing home aide, fire fighter's aide, garbage collector and sheep ranch hand, and he says he looks forward to the jobs ahead.

“I learn a lot from each job", he says, “but I learn even more from the people I work with. They tell me in the break room they're concerned about the war in Iraq, about the national economy, about rising gas prices, about how to put their kids through school and care for their elderly parents, and about how to pay for health insurance. “These are the real people of America", he says, “and their concerns are about all of us."

Idahoans are excited to learn that Larry's service in the U.S. House of Representatives will be credited when determining his seniority in the U.S. Senate. They also understand the wisdom of having a senator in the majority party, which will enable Larry to be of greater service to Idaho.

LaRocco, contrary to popular wisdom, doesn't see the U.S. Senate as an "old boys club." "That's what a lot of people think," he says, “but it really isn't like that. If you work hard, and if you're honest, you can get things done."

Getting things done. That's what Larry LaRocco is all about.


National Security
National security involves more than just military preparedness. True national security also requires economic and social security.  That is why I have considered it important to propose an economic stimulus plan, an energy plan, an immigration plan and a health care plan. Only by addressing these other major issues facing our great nation, will we finally achieve the full measure of security we all want for ourselves and our families.

Living Wills
I strongly support the right of each individual to decide in advance what kind of medical care they want when they’re dying and are unable to communicate their wishes.

2nd Amendment  Rights
As a Westerner, I know that we must do more than simply support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees our right to keep and bear arms. There are those who seek to weaken that right, and we must be vigorous in its defense.

Free Trade (NAFTA)
NAFTA was sold to America as some grandiose economic theory and it just didn’t add up for me. History has now shown that I was right to be cautious and vote against NAFTA.

The Economy - America's Path to Recovery and Prosperity
Over the last eight years we have seen the tax burden shift onto the shoulders of working families as we continue to experiment with discredited theories of trickle-down economics—experiments that simply push our debt higher and weaken our economy. Whether it was the Bush tax policy, that gave huge tax breaks to the mega-rich, or the Risch tax shift that replaced tax on property with taxes on food, the pattern has been clear: working families are being sent to the back of the line. As your United States Senator I will fight for tax fairness. I will fight for a middle class tax cut and I will fight for a tax system that puts you and your neighbors, who are a driving force of this economy, at its heart.


As a parent and as the husband of a teacher, I know America must chart a new direction in education for our next generation of leaders. Improving our education system at every level today is the only way to ensure that America will succeed tomorrow. While giving every child access to a good education has always been and continues to be a moral imperative, it has also become an economic necessity. Investing early and often in education has been proven to pay dividends by not only making better students, but also by creating a healthier economy.

Veterans Affairs
As a former Captain in the United States Army, Larry demonstrated a genuine concern for this nation's veterans and their families. Now, in 2008, Larry has a unique perspective on the war in Iraq.  He sees clearly the need to remove our troops from harm's way as expediently as possible, but he also sees the need to give those troops the support they need to succeed, both in Iraq and after they come home.

Health Care
We must commit ourselves to provide quality affordable health care to all families in Idaho. There are two main parts to this important job: fixing the health insurance system, and increasing the quality and availability of health care itself. There are some very practical ways to tackle these problems, and Larry LaRocco is determined to push ahead on both fronts.

Clearly the current Administration’s policy on immigration has led to broken borders with millions of undocumented aliens in our country illegally. Congress shares the blame in its “do nothing” approach to immigration reform.

The War in Iraq
It’s time for Congress to chart a new bipartisan direction for the war in Iraq. The Bush Administration has made tragic blunders in Iraq. We must now demand that the Congress assert its Constitutional role and check the delusional policy of escalation adopted by President Bush. … We must chart a new way forward in Iraq that will provide a withdrawal timetable while protecting our strategic interests abroad and strengthening our security at home.

Energy Innovation and Independence
America must change its energy habits. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to curb greenhouse gas emissions and decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Idaho is in a great position to capitalize on research and production of energy from alternative sources. A smart energy policy for the future will improve national security and bring substantial economic benefits now. The research and implementation of alternative energy technologies will inject money and jobs into the economies of both Idaho and the nation. Read Full Statement

Accountability and IntegrityIt’s time to take our country in a new direction. Too many Idahoans today have no voice in Washington, and nobody is looking out for their interests. I will give you a voice. I will champion your interests. We need a government in Washington that is accountable, and a Congress that provides the checks and balances our Constitution requires. We need to unlock the partisan gridlock in Washington and work across party lines for all Idahoans. Read Full Statement 

Civil Liberties
Our Founding Fathers created the Bill of Rights to protect American citizens from their own government, not to make it easier for the government to spy on its own citizens or torture prisoners.  Sometimes I feel as though politicians say they'll support the Bill of Rights -- until they get in office and become part of that government. You can see where that's gotten us over the past 7 years.